Regional
9:17 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Update: Coast Guard Begins Hearing on Western Kentucky Bridge Collapse

Updated at 4:06pm CT on Monday, April 16, 2012:

Navigation lights are the focus of the first day of Coast Guard and National Transportation and Safety Board hearings on the crash that collapsed a portion of the Eggners Ferry Bridge. A cargo ship operated by Foss Maritime collided with the bridge that connects Aurora to Land Between the Lakes on January 26th.

Federal officials along with Foss officials are questioning Transportation Engineer Supervisor Thomas Hines. Hines oversees navigation lights on the bridge for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Hines says his team had worked on the Eggners Ferry lights a couple days before the accident. He also testified he was not aware of proper bridge lighting regulations before the incident.  The Coast Guard says the hearings are to examine the causes of the accident, to make recommendations to avoid a similar casualty and to improve and promote overall maritime transportation safety.

Original story:

The U.S. Coast Guard wil begin hearing testimony Monday in Paducah on the collapse of a Tennessee River bridge in western Kentucky.  A span of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake fell when a cargo ship, the Delta Mariner, hit the steel bridge on January 26.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation and Safety Board are jointly investigating the crash. 

The hearing begins at 1 p.m. CDT at Paducah City Hall and will continue at 7:15 a.m. each day until it's over. 

The bridge serves as the western entrance to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. It is expected to be reopened to traffic before Memorial Day.