Coast Guard: Formal probe of Sunshine Bridge-closing crash

November 08, 2018 - 5:49 pm

 NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Coast Guard has begun a formal investigation of the crash that closed a Louisiana bridge over the Mississippi River.

A news release Thursday said the agency will identify unsafe conditions which may have contributed to the accident and ways to prevent similar occurrences.

The Sunshine Bridge has been closed since Oct. 12, when a barge-mounted crane owned by Marquette Transportation Co. of Paducah, Kentucky, hit it. State officials say repairs probably will take until January.

A statement from Marquette President Damon Judd apologized for traffic disruption and said Marquette will cooperate with the Coast Guard.

The Advocate has reported that Marquette's equipment hit or brushed 32 bridges nationwide over the past five years.

Judd says Marquette has "safely delivered billions of tons of product and cargo" through Louisiana's waterways over 40 years. 

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