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Coast Guard reviewing salvage plans for sunken barges

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Posted: May 23, 2011 2:27 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: May 23, 2011 6:12 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: baton rouge, coast guard, barge, river, traffic, mississippi river, wbrz, louisiana

BATON ROUGE - The Coast Guard said today that they reopened a portion of the Mississippi River near Baton Rogue to northbound traffic, after determining three barges that sank last week don't pose a threat to those vessels.

A nine-mile stretch of the river was closed Friday when several barges broke loose from their tow boat and four sank between the new and old Mississippi River bridges in Baton Rouge.

At a press conference today a Coast Guard spokesperson said the barges are resting in 70, 90 and 100 feet of water and did not pose a threat to northbound traffic. He said workers were monitoring the vessels with SONAR to make sure they didn't shift location.

The spokesperson said they did not have an estimate when the river would be back open to southbound traffic.

The owner of the vessels told News 2 today he had submitted his salvage plans to the Coast Guard and was waiting for approval. He wouldn't say how much the sunken barges and their contents were worth.

Coast Guard leaders said they will have a better idea of how much it will cost to remove the sunken barges once the river recedes.

News 2 will have more on the barge retrieval tonight at 6.

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