I-10 bridge in Houston damaged by runaway barges

Reports say 9 barges broke loose and 2 allided with the San Jacinto river bridge. Looks like they came from upriver at Channelview. No report yet as to who they belong to or what facility they broke from.


Cheryl K fleet operates right there.

Aren’t they down river? Kirby’s barge fleet is very close to the bridge but also down river. I may be wrong but I believe these barges broke away from upriver north of the bridge.
Houston was hit with heavy rains and there was a lot of flooding yesterday.

They are definitely upriver. They need jackup boats with a retractible wheelhouse to get under the bridge. I’ve used the fleet a hand full of times. To my knowledge they are the only fleet upriver. As you stated, Kirby’s fleet is definitely downriver.

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Exactly, most of the time there isn’t much of a current but after it rains hard, it runs really hard there. Ricky J Lebeouf capsizing and sinking NTSB report stated the same, hard rain the night before in the exact same area.

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This is going to cause quite an uproar. 1-10 being shut down. According to a report I read, the diversion route involves tolls. So not only will commuters have to detour and take a hell of a lot longer, they are going to be hit with a toll. Making the inland barge industry look great again.

I’m sure they’d stop changing tolls like when there is an evacuation.

San Jacinto River Fleet operates to the north of the I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge.

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Roger that, it is San Jac river fleet. I thought Cheryl K had a fleet up there but it’s San Jac.

I would expect that tugs near the narrowing of the channel would be standing by barges and monitoring the situation given the condition of the river. Both the effects of heavy rain in Houston and the Venturi effect under the I-10 bridge, a relatively narrow passage between two wide parts of the channel, are well known.
If they didn’t, in hindsight, it would have been insurance at a bargain price.

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No question. These fuckwits running wild in their stupid towboats have to be stopped.




This is astonishing. Unfortunately this is not just due to “weather.” When weather is coming there is always precautionary things we all do as mariners to make sure this wouldn’t happen.

This was obviously overlooked at.

This will result of negligence.

I think this would be a great time as us mariners to discuss what we all can do to make sure that all of us can do “our part” in making a safe environment for all of us to work in and at.

This does not look good for us in the DOT.

Lets discuss.

You may not get much response to your request for discussion since most of us aren’t DOT as far as I know…

If you ask me though, this incident was just another example of why tug trash needs subchapter M to get their shit straightened out. If the standards for safety and compliance are higher, maybe the companies will finally get rid of the cowboys that will always say “but that’s how we’ve always done it.”

I figured that MOST of us were apart of the DOT. I pretty much only know blue water transportation.

I figured it would be the same for rivers.

Correct me if I’m wrong (seriously, I do love learning) but those barges wouldn’t relate to the DOT? It is freight, oil and other products being moved on the water?

Thank you for your helpful response!

From my understanding, anything regulated by the USCG is under the DOT.

This includes Tugs, Barges, Ships, ect.

Does a semi trucker working for Swift work for DOT? That’s about the same thing we’re talking about with a mariner on a tug working for “Cheryl K fleet” or whoever.

The only mariners under DOT are working for MARAD on RRF ships, and USCG is Department of Homeland Security. Mariners typically don’t work for either of those… unless they’re very very lucky to be getting the big $$$$ like right now with the turbo mob of the RRF.

Interesting. Then I must be arrogant to only what I know.

As all the companies I’ve worked for have been under the DOT. Either working tugs as escort/harbor tugs, or working on petroleum barges, which also falls into the DOT.

Like I said, I’m always very interested in learning!

I do understand that Sub Chapter M has and can be a sword in people’s sides.

I still am interested in this however.

Which is it? Blue water or harbor tugs and barges?

Ah, I think I see your confusion. Yes, some parts fall under DOT regulation, but you don’t work for DOT, nor do any of us that aren’t with MARAD… 46 CFR Chapter II is pretty much the limit of DOT’s hand in enforcement and regulation… most of the rest falls under the USCG though, and that’s not DOT and hasn’t been since 2003.