‘The bridge is safe’: Superficial damage reported following barge strike

It’s not the first time that vessel has struck the bridge in August.

A vessel struck the Douglas Bridge at approximately 1 p.m. Wednesday, said a Coast Guard spokesperson in an email, but the bridge did not suffer significant damage.

The Columbia Layne, which was also involved in a collision with the bridge last August, struck the southeast corner of the structure closest to Mayor Bill Overstreet Park, said Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesperson Sam Dapcevich in a phone interview.

“Right after the incident, our bridge design inspection team ran out there,” Dapcevich said. “They took a close look at it. Just like last time, the damage is superficial. It’s a tough bridge.”

Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Juneau are investigating the incident, said Coast Guard public affairs specialist Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston in an email. Any citations deriving from the incident will come down from the Coast Guard, Dapcevich said, though the state transportation department will bill for time and repairs to the structure.

“In the previous incident, we billed the responsible party for the time involved in investigating,” Dapcevich said. “From what I understand, the damage is pretty inexpensive.”

The equipment involved in repairs is a statewide asset, and will arrive in Juneau on a scheduled basis, at such a time as it will be used to effect repairs, Dapcevich said.

“The bridge is safe,” Dapcevich said. “Keep driving across it.”

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.