Crane, barge sink near Ledbetter bridge

May 28, 2012

Coast Guard officials have restricted traffic along the Tennessee River at Ledbetter as several sinking barges threaten to topple a construction crane into the water.  The barges provide a platform for the crane used in the building of a new bridge at the site.  Work had been shut down at the site for the Memorial Day weekend, and a worker for contractor C.J. Mahan checking equipment Saturday noticed nothing unusual.  When crews returned Sunday, they noticed the barges listing severely.  Multiple agencies were called in to help stabilize the platform.  So far, officials say no fuel or oil from the crane has leaked into the river and the barges have been positioned to allow them to settle onto the river bottom near the Livingston County bank.  Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says any travel restrictions on the Tennessee could be lifted once the barges are secured.