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Final Loose Barge Removed From The Mon River

Mick Stinelli
90.5 WESA
The Smithfield Street Bridge looking toward Station Square, near where a barge was resting after becoming loose a couple weeks ago.

The last of a dozen runaway coal barges was removed this weekend from the Monongahela River, Lt. Shawn Simeral with the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The barge, which had been partially submerged, was lifted and taken away from the river after weather delayed its removal.

“The only thing that remains now is just whatever the bridge owners would like to assess,” Simeral said. Divers contracted by PennDOT and the Port Authority will inspect the damage.

The lingering barge was one of several coal barges which shut down the Liberty, Smithfield Street, Fort Pitt, West End and McKees Rocks bridges on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A second barge that hit the Smithfield Street Bridge was removed last month.

The Coast Guard is investigating the factors which led to the event.