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Barges break loose after tow hits bridge

The old U.S. 80 bridge was been reopened Thursday morning to rail traffic after the bridge was struck by a southbound tow earlier in the morning.

Bridge superintendent Herman Smith said the Motor Vessel Jason W. Nyberg, operated by Marquette Towing of Paducah, Ky., with 12 barges in tow, hit pier 4 of the bridge about 7:34 a.m. 

He said the 12-tanker barge tow included 10 empty and two full barges. None of the barges sank, and they were eventually rounded up by boats from Ergon Marine.

Smith did not know what the two loaded barges were carrying, but said all the barges were red-flagged. He said no injuries were reported to the U.S.Coast Guard.

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