Barge Traffic Halted on Arkansas River Due to Damaged Bridge

January 23, 2014

Barge traffic is shut down on the Arkansas River in western Arkansas after damage was discovered on a railroad bridge.

Officials say two broken cables tilted the northern end of the bridge in between Fort Smith and Van Buren. Train crews discovered the dysfunctional rail late Monday when a northbound train was heading back from Fort Smith.

The cables are used to raise and lower the bridge.

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Police Chief Ron Sparks says rail traffic has been diverted until the bridge can be fixed. The Southwest Times Record reports that the damaged bridge has left barge and tugboat traffic at a standstill until the bridge is repaired.

Sparks says bridge inspectors will assess the damage Wednesday and determine the cause of the break.

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