West Jefferson Avenue Drawbridge closed due to accident involving freighter
8:19 AM, May 12, 2013
4:52 AM, May 13, 2013
Southfield, MIch. (WXYZ) -
Cindy Dingell with the Wayne County Department of Public Services confirms to Action News that early Sunday morning a freighter attempting to pass under the Jefferson Avenue Drawbridge hit the bridge over the Rouge River.
The U.S. Coast Guard reports the accident happened around 2:12 am Sunday morning when the Herbert C. Jackson freighter was attempting to pass through and the bridge prematurely came down on the boat causing extensive damage to the draw bridge.
Drug and alcohol tests are pending on the bridge operator. Dingell tells Action News that a preliminary investigation into the accident reveals that this is operator error.
The Jefferson Avenue Drawbridge over the Rouge River is one of a few that have operators at the bridge site.
From our reporter on the scene, it appears the bridge may have suffered the most damage with the road buckling, the bridge not aligning properly and as of Sunday morning around 7:30, the bridge still couldn't close all the way.
Petty Officer Christopher Yaw says there has not been any pollution reported. There's no word yet on what the freighter was carrying on board.
Early Sunday morning, a team of the Wayne County Department of Public Services could be seen working around the bridge reviewing the structural integrity.
The bridge has been closed all morning to both boat and car traffic. Dingell says engineers are working to determine how safe it is to continue operating the bridge.
US Coast Guard requires them to be able to open the bridge during certain times of the year and the Spring and Summer are certainly two times of the year included.
The operators of the freighter have also ask the USCG to look over the vessel for any damage. Stay with 7 Action News for the latest on this developing story.