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Crane hits key bridge in Alaska, no structural damage found

The Associated Press
Crane hits key bridge in Alaska, no structural damage found

JUNEAU, ALASKA — A construction barge carrying a crane hit the underside of the Douglas Bridge in Juneau on Aug. 5.

A bystander recorded the incident from shore and posted it onto social media, where it was widely shared.

The 189-metre-long Douglas Bridge connects Douglas Island with downtown Juneau. It is the only roadway into Douglas Island.

A boat attempted to bring the crane underneath the bridge that night, CoastAlaska reported. The steel crane spiked up in the air as the barge failed to clear the bridge. The crane then whipped upward after it scraped its way across the underside of the bridge. The boat and barge continued through the Gastineau Channel without stopping.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Ali Blackburn said state transportation engineers conducted an inspection and found no structural damage.

“The impact was confirmed and there was no damage reported to the vessel or the bridge,” she said.

Alaska Department of Transportation’s regional spokesman Sam Dapcevich said in a statement that a more thorough investigation is underway.

“Limited access and diminishing daylight kept them from completing a full inspection, but they were able to determine that the damage was not severe and that a closure was unnecessary,” he said in the statement.

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