Coast Guard: formal probe of Louisiana bridge-closing crash

Gov. John Bel Edwards views the damage to the Sunshine Bridge (Oct. 24, 2018) Photo Courtesy: Office of the Governor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Coast Guard has begun a formal investigation of the crash that closed a Louisiana bridge over the Mississippi River.

A news release said the agency will identify unsafe conditions which may have contributed to the accident and ways to prevent similar occurrences.

The Sunshine Bridge has been closed since Oct. 12, when a barge-mounted crane owned by Marquette Transportation Co. of Paducah, Kentucky, ran into it. State officials say repairs probably will take until January.

The bridge is about 27 miles (43 kilometers) from Baton Rouge.

The Advocate has reported that Marquette's equipment hit or brushed 32 bridges over the past five years.

Company attorney Michael Meredith did not immediately respond to a call and email Thursday requesting comment on that report and the Coast Guard investigation.

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