ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Two brief bridge shutdowns are blamed on an incident involving a tugboat and barges. Cathy Noxall called 911 just before 5pm Thursday, after she heard a loud boom. Barges hit a pier under the Martin Luther King Bridge.
Noxall said the empty barges were pushed upstream by a tugboat. In addition to hitting a pier of the MLK Bridge, there appeared to be contact with the Eads Bridge as well.
IDOT reported no damage to the MLK Bridge. The bridge reopened shortly after the incident.
The Eads Bridge is owned by the City of St. Louis and Metro. The bridge was inspected and found to be safe. Automobile traffic resumed and Metro resumed trains but at a slower speed until it could conduct its own inspections. Once those inspections were completed, trains resumed normal speed. Metrolink experienced delays but was back on scheduled by 8pm Thursday.
Rising water and strong currents have already led to a recreational boat ban on the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
The Coast Guard closed a portion of the Upper Mississippi River to all recreational vessel traffic earlier Thursday.
The closure is between Lock and Dam 27 in Granite City, Illinois and the Jefferson Barrack Bridge in St. Louis. The closure is a result of anticipated flood waters predicted to reach 30 feet overnight. The river is anticipated to reopen to all recreational vessel traffic sometime early next week.