DUQUESNE (KDKA) — There was a big scare at the Duquesne-McKeesport Bridge on Friday when a barge slammed into a pier.
The bridge was shut down for a couple of hours, but it reopened just before 4 p.m.
The City of Duquesne Police Department reports a tug boat “experienced a problem” that caused a barge to partially break loose and hit a bridge pier.
A barge and its cable were wrapped around the pier when Duquesne Police decided to shut down the bridge.
“We didn’t know what damage structurally was done to the bridge at that time,” Duquesne Police Chief Thomas Dunlevy said. “I made the determination that we should shut the bridge down until it was inspected by PennDOT.”
The barges were empty. No one was hurt, and eventually they cleared the bridge for traffic.
The half-mile span across the Mon is a vital link for McKeesport and Duquesne.
“We have the McKeesport Hospital right on the other side of the bridge where a lot of our sick and injured from my community go for immediate medical care,” Dunlevy said.
The barges were being towed by the Tow Line River Service out of Elizabeth. The bridge has been standing since 1928, and a minor brush with a barge isn’t going to bring it down.
The bridge connects 837 in Duquesne with 148 in McKeesport and carries over 20,000 vehicles a day, so it’s a big deal when the bridge is closed.