5:45PM March24,2011-The bridge is now being reopened. Expect heavy traffic delays for some time now, officials are asking local residents to avoid the area a little while longer till the traffic is again moving more smoothly. Photography courtesy of a viewer Helen Vinzant Thanks for sending us the pictures.
4:00PM March 24,2011- Here is the latest update from the bridge. The salvage plan was approved@ 3:40PM by USCG Lt. Gomez, the incident commander. The salvage plan is as follows: 2 Boats will simultaneously dislodge the crippled partially sunken barge from its present location by the pier. Then the barge will be pushed away from the bridges and allowed to sink @ which time divers will attach bouys to the barge for a later salvage operation. The bridge is now closed and will remain closed from 2-6 hours depending on how long it takes to accomplish the mission. We have a crew on scene and hope to bring you video of the salvage operation at a later time.
2:34PM, March 24,2011-The Coast Guard just advised the Warren S.O. that work should begin at 3:30pm. Equipment is being shuttled to the area now.
1:04 PM, March 24, 2011 – We have been in communication with officials with the Vicksburg Police Department who have told us that there is no official word on when the bridge closure will occur.
11:30 AM, March 24, 2011 – The Mississippi River Bridge will be closing. The tentative time for the closure is 1 p.m. and the closure is estimated to last for four hours. We’ve just spoken with officials at the Vicksburg Police Department and all on-ramps leading to I-20 Westbound in Vicksburg will be closed. Please adjust your travel plans accordingly.
The US Coast Guard will be working to remove the partially sunken barge that is still pinned against one of the bridge supports.
Title photo courtesy of D. Ratliff.