Tow Boat, Barge Slam Into Hot Metal Bridge
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials are inspecting the Hot Metal Bridge after police say it was struck by a tow boat and a barge.
The United States Coast Guard says the incident happened shortly before 8 a.m., when a tow boat pushing coal barges struck one the bridge’s 125-year-old pilings.
The Coast Guard said the first calls for assistance came at 7:46 a.m.
One of the fully loaded coal barges the tow boat William E. Porter was pushing down stream slammed into the Hot Metal Bridge.
The vessel was tending a total of three fully loaded barges, all headed for South Point, Ohio, when the incident occurred.
The William E. Porter was able to pull away from the structure and was determined worthy to continue on its voyage.
The bridge and the struck piling underwent inspection via the Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Pittsburgh Public Works.
Despite taking a hit, the study showed the supports and the bridge itself were sound for traffic and pedestrians.
River traffic was also safe to travel under the bridge.
The Coast Guard is still investigating the cause, but point to high and fast water on the Monongahela River as a possible factor.