Our inspector on-site observed what appears to be a scraped spot on the pier near the waterline consistent with the impact described by the crew of the Evey T.
There was no structural damage to the bridge.
The US 68 Eggners Ferry Bridge is OPEN to traffic at this time.
Eggner Ferry Bridge on U.S. 68/Ky. 80 over Kentucky Lake was closed as a precaution for about two hours after it was struck by a barge Friday afternoon, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet public information officer Keith Todd said.
From the press release:
The US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge is CLOSED to traffic at this time after a tow boat pushing several empty barges hit one of the bridge piers.
According to the US Coast Guard, the Motor Vessel Evey T was headed downstream on the Tennessee River/Kentucky Lane when a gust of wind blew the tow into the right descending pier on the main channel just after 3:00 p.m., CDT.
Kentucky State Police and Sheriff's Deputies have been dispatched to close the bridge as a precaution. A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet bridge inspector is en route to run a safety check on the bridge structure.
The inspection will likely mean the bridge will remain closed to traffic until about 6:00 p.m., CDT.
The US 68/KY 80 Eggner's Ferry Bridge is at US 68 Marshall County mile point 28.146 and Trigg County mile point 0.0 at the western entrance to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. The Bridge carries approximately 2800 vehicles across Kentucky Lake/The Tennessee River in an average day.
The bridge opened to traffic in March 1932. In 1943 the bridge was closed for 6 months to allow the bridge to be raised to accommodate higher water levels due to the impounding of Kentucky Lake.
A 322 ft. span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge was struck and knocked into Kentucky Lake by the 8200 ton Cargo Ship Delta Mariner on the night of January 26, 2012. KYTC engineers developed plans to rebuild the missing span and restore traffic to the bridge in 17 weeks.
The bridge is at Tennessee River navigation mile point 41.7 near Aurora , KY.
UPDATE: 4:28 p.m.
The Evey T is owned by Ingram Barge Company. It was pushing 24 empty hopper barges at the time of the incident. The pilot reported a gust of wind blew the tow into a pier with a glancing blow.
At about the time of this incident the National Weather Service at Paducah was reporting winds about 15 miles per hour with gusts to 28 mph.
A KYTC bridge inspector should be in site in the next 20 minutes. It will generally take about 30 minutes to an hour to run a safety check on the bridge structure.