Work continues to save sinking barge and crane, prevent oil from leaking into river


Reporter - Todd Faulkner
Photojournalist - David Dycus

PADUCAH - Workers with several agencies continue to save a sinking barge and crane at the new Ledbetter Bridge construction site. 

Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said efforts continued late Sunday to minimize the potential for a leaking and listing crane barge to damage other equipment. 
Nearby barges containing steel, other construction materials and equipment were moved to the other side of the river.  The listing crane barge has been positioned to allow it to settle on the bottom near the Livingston County shoreline.  
Engineers tell officials with the state that they're optimistic the crane mounted on the deck will remain above the waterline.  However, in case it does not, booms have been placed around the area to prevent oil from seeping into the river if the barge settles lower than expected. 
Executives with C.J. Mahan Construction, the contractor on the main span of the new bridge, are flying in from Columbus, Ohio and should be at the site Sunday night. 
Several agencies have assisted Mahan employees with efforts to save the crane and barge, including the US Coast Guard, McCracken County Emergency Management, James Marine, KY Department of Environmental Protection, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and others.