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Tue January 31, 2012
Officials Looking at Eggner's Ferry Bridge Cleanup
By Gary Pitts
Aurora, KY – Officials have drafted a plan to conduct salvage operations at the Eggner's Ferry Bridge. Foss Maritime Company, which owns the Delta Mariner, the ship that collided with the bridge, will bring in an Echoscope, which uses sonar to create a three dimensional image of the ship's hull, debris field, and the bottom contour of the waterway. Once this information is in hand, officials from Foss and the U.S. Coast Guard will finalize a detailed plan for removing debris from the ship, moving the ship itself, and removing the remaining debris from the water. Crane barges arrived yesterday, and will begin operations once plans are finalized. And today, specially trained divers with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plan to begin an underwater examination of three bridge piers. Officials say the divers will not be placing monitoring sensors on them at this time, but if the piers have shifted, there should be evidence on the lake floor. The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened a portion of the channel passing underneath the bridge to some commercial traffic, but continues to maintain a safety zone for one mile on either side of the bridge, where recreational traffic is not allowed.