Bridge of Honor Closed Following Barge Collision
UPDATE – The Bridge Has Reopened
UPDATE – As of about 6:19 a.m., the Bridge of Honor was reopened to traffic following an inspection. All barges are now secured as well on the Ohio River.
POMEROY, Ohio – Several barges broke loose on the Ohio River resulting in at least one striking the Bridge of Honor between Pomeroy and Mason, West Virginia.
In the evening of February 13, 2020 a motor vessel lost control of approximately 15 barges in the Ohio River near Hartford, West Virginia. Some of the barges were secured just above Minersville, Ohio. About eight of the barges continued to be taken by the current and floated down river toward Pomeroy. According to some onlookers that were along the parking lot in Pomeroy, one of the barges did collide with the parking lot. One barge hit the bank at the Wild Horse Cafe and continued to move on down the river. At least one of the barges collided with the Ohio pier of Bridge of Honor.
Out of precaution, the road in Pomeroy was closed from the Nye Avenue light until first responders could ascertain what was the cargo of the barges. The bridge was also cleared and closed prior to the barges making their way to the bridge. According to Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood, the barges contained fracking sand. The Pomeroy Fire Department was initially trying to see if there was visible damage to the bridge. The bridge remains closed as of this posting at 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 as West Virginia Department of Highways took over. The bridge will be inspected before being reopened to the public.
The rising waters of the Ohio may have played a factor in barges breaking loose as the current was running quite swiftly. The cause of the barges breaking loose has not been stated by officials.
First responders and other agencies on both sides of the river were involved including Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Pomeroy Police Department, Middleport Police Department, Pomeroy Fire Department, Ohio Department of Transportation, Mason Fire Department, Mason Police Department and West Virginia Department of Highways.
The Meigs Independent Press will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.