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A St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office car blocks the La. 182 bridge over Berwick Bay Wednesday morning after a tugboat struck the bridge late Tuesday night. The bridge has since been reopened. (The Daily Review/Zachary Fitzgerald)

(Updated) Officials: La. 182 bridge safe for traffic after tugboat hits it

Authorities say the La. 182 bridge over Berwick Bay sustained no significant damage after a tugboat struck it Tuesday night and is safe for motor vehicle traffic.

A tugboat pushing six barges struck the bridge’s west stanchion, according a St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.

The bridge was struck Tuesday night, and officials closed it around 10 p.m. Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials conducted a full inspection to determine if the bridge was safe for motorists, DOTD spokeswoman Brandi Richardson said in an email.

DOTD officials concluded that it was safe and reopened it shortly after it was initially closed, Richardson said.

“Crews went back this morning to reassess the damage this morning and found scuff marks from where the vessel rubbed against the bridge,” she said. “Other than scuff marks, the bridge did not sustain any damage.”

Ensign Sondra-Kay Kneen, spokeswoman for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, said the Coast Guard is actively investigating the incident and was not able to release the name of the vessel that allegedly struck the bridge.

The Daily Review reported last month that the La. 182 bridge should see major maintenance work next year. The U.S. 90 bridge is scheduled for maintenance this summer. The La. 182 bridge opened in 1933, and U.S. 90 bridge opened in 1977.

The estimated cost to rehabilitate the La. 182 bridge is about $16 million, but the actual cost may end up lower, state Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, said in January.

Work on both bridges over Berwick Bay is part of a bridge preservation program, Richardson said.

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