Virginia bridge stuck in open position after being hit by passing barge

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Centerville Turnpike Bridge is currently stuck in the open position after being struck by a barge passing through the canal during a bridge opening Saturday morning.

According to Chesapeake Roads officials, crews are still working to make repairs as of 6:50 p.m. Motorists are advised to use the Route 168 Expressway as a detour route.

The incident was first reported on social media just after 5:30 a.m. Saturday. At about noon, the U.S. Coast Guard sent out an official statement saying they were investigating the cause of the barge collision.

The Coast Guard watchstanders on duty said the report came in at 4:46 a.m. for the incident. The bridge sustained damage from the strike which is why it remains closed to vehicle traffic.

There is currently no estimated time for the reopening of roadways.

A marine investigating officer and marine inspectors from Sector Virginia are on scene conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the allision. 

The Coast Guard released a marine information safety broadcast establishing a safety zone prohibiting vessels from approaching or transiting within 100 feet of the bridge. A 29-foot response boat from Station Portsmouth and Chesapeake Police boats are on the scene to ensure safety in the area. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident that could assist the Coast Guard in their investigation is asked to contact the Sector Virginia Command Center at (757) 483-8567.

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