Two grain barges break loose, strike Jordan Bridge

Posted at 6:44 AM, Jun 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-24 18:37:30-04

Portsmouth, Va. -  The Coast Guard responded early Monday morning after two grain barges that broke away from their pier and struck the Jordan Bridge on the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a report at approximately 12:30 a.m. from the Chesapeake Police Department, stating two 260-foot barges struck the bridge.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth deployed aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small to investigate. Chesapeake police units also responded.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., crews aboard the tugboats Sea Coast and Eleen MaCalister removed the barges and took them to the Perdue Farms Grain Wharf.

There was no visible damage to the bridge, and river and road traffic remains open.

South Norfolk Jordan Bridge officials conducted an inspection of the bridge and determined there are only superficial paint marks on one of the piers. The South Norfolk Jordan Bridge remains fully open to vehicle traffic this morning.

"We have made a complete review of the site and found only minor cosmetic markings on the concrete for piers 18 and 19. The bridge was designed and constructed considering errant vessel impacts much larger than what occurred overnight.  The Jordan Bridge remains open and completely safe for vehicle traffic," says General Manager Kevin Crum.