Nor'easter Sinks Barge Under Pell Bridge
The barge had been contracted to paint the Newport Pell Bridge.
Sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday at noon, a barge used by the contractor hired to paint the Newport Pell Bridge sunk during the nor’easter. Northeast Salvage is on site to begin efforts to raise the barge. Traffic on the Pell Bridge will not be disrupted.
The barge contains 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel within three double-walled tanks, and a minor oil sheen has been detected near the sunken vessel. The United States Coast Guard, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, the R.I. Department of Transportation, Clean Harbors, the Newport Harbormaster, and the Newport Navy Base have all been notified of the incident.
RITBA is working with the contractor and the salvage company to lift the barge from Narragansett Bay. In addition to the fuel, the barge is loaded with a generator and three compressors.
The contractor, in anticipation of the storm, removed hazardous materials, waste products, and painting supplies on Wednesday and secured the barge with four anchors.
RITBA employees visually inspected the bridge and it appears that the barge did not come in contact with it.
Thanks to RITBA for providing this information.