BLOCKADE LIFTED: State Police stopped access to the Interstate 30 bridge in downtown after a barge accident.
Details are sketchy,but the downtown commute got messy when the Interstate 30 bridge
was closed as a precaution for inspection after a barge hit one of the pier protection structures meant to block errant vessels from striking the bridge piers.
The Coast Guard closed the span, but Josh Berry of Fox 16/KARK reported at 4:46 p.m. that the bridge had been reopened to traffic a few minutes earlier. It would appear it was closed for 30 minutes or so.
The closure blocked traffic from approaching the bridge from either the south or north. During the closure, I-630 eastbound traffic was routed south when it hit I-30 in downtown Little Rock.
The closure produced jams on alternate bridges downtown over the Arkansas River.
Sheriff's office said:
Around 1600 hours, PCSO was notified by Game and Fish that a barge had possibly struck the I-30 Bridge. Sheriff’s Deputies and Game & Fish responded to the bridge. One of the PCSO Water Patrol boats is currently on the water with the bridge inspectors (and Game & Fish). At this time, I am being told the barge struck one of the bumpers protecting the bridge supports and the bridge was not actually struck. The inspectors are checking the bridge thoroughly to ensure nothing is structurally wrong. I was just informed by our Communications Center that traffic on the I-30 bridge is back to normal.