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Eggners Ferry Bridge Collapse

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US Coast Guard Press Release

PADUCAH, Ky. The Coast Guard approved a salvage plan, Friday, to remove both the supply ship Delta Mariner and a section of the Eggner Ferry Bridge that remains on its bow following an allision a week ago.

Salvage operations are anticipated to begin Saturday. Foss Maritime, owner of the Delta Mariner, has brought in numerous support vessels and technical salvage equipment in anticipation of debris removal operations.

"The Coast Guard is working closely with Foss Maritime to ensure the safest and most efficient salvage of the ship," said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah. "The company is cooperating fully and bringing the appropriate resources to bear in support of the operation. The goal is to free the ship from the bridge span debris and assess damages so it can be repaired and put back into service."

The Coast Guard has been enforcing a safety zone from mile marker 41 to mile marker 43 on either side of the bridge on the Tennessee River to protect the public from the damaged bridge and stricken ship since Jan. 26, 2012. The river was opened to commercial traffic on Jan. 28, 2012, with speed restrictions.

The Coast Guard Cutter Obion and a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and crew from MSU Paducah remain on site to ensure safety of salvage operations. The Coast Guard is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and Marshall County Police.

There are no reported injuries or pollution at this time. The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing. For more information about the allision, contact Lt. Ron Easley at 270-816-7627.

Beaver Dam Outlook
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The view from the top of this beaver dam shows a Kentucky Lake inlet in late spring. An inlet like this one is habitat to a variety of exciting wildlife and plants just waiting to be explored!