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Intracoastal Waterway reopened to vessel traffic, salvage operations complete

Coast Guard: Normal traffic should be restored within the week
Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 18:14:37-05

The Coast Guard has reopened the Intracoastal Waterway near Berwick to vessel traffic after salvage operations were completed on Friday.

"We have been grateful for the patience, understanding, and cooperative spirit of our industry partners as we all work to resolve this unfortunate event as quickly as possible," said Cmdr. Heather Mattern, commanding officer, Marine Safety Unit Morgan City. "Industry has been coming to us throughout the week offering ways we can work together and assist our teams in clearing up what has become a heavily backlogged waterway. Our priority now is to restore normal vessel traffic flow to the critical waterway safely and efficiently."

A Marine Transportation System recovery plan was developed in conjunction with senior industry partners and members of the area Marine Transportation System Recovery and Safety Committee.

With the assistance of local towing vessel companies and through coordinated control of vessel movement by Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay, the Coast Guard estimates it will be able to restore the waterway to normal traffic within the week.

The vessel queue as of 1:15 p.m., Friday, is 26 tugs and 54 barges southbound, 107 tugs and 296 barges westbound, 87 tugs and 262 barges eastbound, and 4 tugs and 16 barges northbound.

The waterway was closed on Monday after a towing vessel ran aground at Mile Marker 99.