Sherman Minton Bridge reopens after being struck by towing vessel

Posted By Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Sherman Minton Bridge was closed for several hours during the morning rush hour Thursday after a towing vessel struck one of the support beams around 5 a.m.

Coast Guard Lt. J.G. Kirk Beckmann in Louisville said a vessel towing 15 coal barges under the bridge struck one of the support beams and the bridge was immediately closed as a precaution. This is standard procedure anytime a vessel strikes a bridge.

According to an Indiana State Police spokesman, the vessel apparently lost power just before hitting one of the bridge support beams.

The Sherman Minton Bridge is under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Transportation, which dispatched a bridge inspector to examine the structure.

Chris Reinbolt, Battalion Chief for the New Albany Fire Department, said they were taking no chances. "We remember Minnesota a couple years ago and all the people that were killed there. "I mean you would hate to have anything go wrong."

After an inspector assessed the bridge, the INDOT reopened the bridge around 8 a.m.