DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) -- The Dauphin Island Bridge, which connects Alabama's barrier island with mainland Mobile County, was closed for more than two hours Friday morning because of a "runaway barge," said Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier.

By 11:30 a.m., the Alabama Department of Transportation had determined the bridge had sustained only "minor cosmetic damages" and was safe for motorists. At that time, the bridge was reopened for one lane of travel -- alternating between northbound and southbound motorists.

Dauphin Island Bridge and barge

ALDOT crews inspect Dauphin Island Bridge Friday morning, Feb. 21, 2020, following an incident involving a runaway barge and crane, according to officials.

"Crews are in the process of securing the barge and crane as well as steering away from the bridge," ALDOT's Katelyn Turner advised news media outlets earlier.

Subsequently, Turner said crews were performing a bridge inspection in the area where the incident took place.

"Crews are still performing the bridge inspection," she said via email. "It is safe for travel as there are only minor cosmetic damages. They are setting up a flagging operation for one lane of travel through the area one direction at a time."

Collier used social media just before 9 a.m. to first advise the public of the incident with the barge and the bridge closure. 

"ALDOT is responsible for the bridge and will make the decision when it’s safe to reopen for traffic," Collier posted on Facebook at the time.

FOX10 News learned the barge belongs to Mike Hooks LLC, a dredging and marine contractor based in Louisiana. Officials told FOX10 News the barge had broken loose from its anchorage. 

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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