Star City Span Closed as a Precaution
Morgantown Dominion Post
14 August 2013
By Alex Lang
Crew members of the CONSOL
tugboat Gabriel push the runaway barge against piers at the
Humphrey coal loading dock after capturing it on the Monongahela
River. Bob Gay / Dominion Post
The Star City bridge was shut down Tuesday night. A runaway
barge collided with its base along the Monongahela River, taking
out a section of concrete.
The bridge remained closed as of 9 p.m. as crews waited for
Department of Transportation inspectors to give the OK for
motorists to cross. Granville Volunteer Fire Department Chief
Butch Renner said the decision was a safety precaution.
Granville Police Chief Craig Corkrean said he was on a Granville
law enforcement boat that had chased down and tied up with the
barge before it collided with the bridge.
“A big boom,” is how Corkrean described the sound of the
The barge was moving at about 2 knots and was too big for
Granville’s boat to slow its momentum, Corkrean said. Two knots
translates to just more than 2 miles per hour.
“It was moving fast,” he said.
A 4-foot slab of concrete knocked off the base of the bridge,
Renner said the barge came from an area near Morgantown’s border
with the river. He said it was tied off to the side of the
waterway, and the rising water level likely caused it to break off
and float down the river. The barge was first reported to MECCA
911 at about 7:15 p.m.
The barge was carrying gravel. Renner said it typically holds up
to 990 tons of material. It was unclear who owned the barge as of
A CONSOL tugboat was able to corral the barge and bring it to the
riverbank about a half-mile from the bridge, Renner said.
Corkrean said his officers, along with Star City and other law
enforcement would block the bridge from vehicular traffic
throughout the night until it was deemed safe.
In lieu of the bridge, alternative routes include the interstates,
as well as roads in Westover, Granville and Scotts Run.