Alabama bridge closed after Katrina pushes oil platform into it

| 8/30/2005

An oil platform – torn loose from its moorings by Hurricane Katrina – slammed into a bridge in Mobile, AL, shutting down a vital trucking route in the area.

The 13,000-ton platform was on a barge at the Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Inc. shipyard when it broke loose during the hurricane on Monday, Aug. 29. Strong winds from the storm carried the platform downriver, where it struck the bridge.

According to the Mobile Register, the bridge, which spans the Mobile River from Mobile to Daphne, AL, is an important route for truckers who carry hazardous materials in the area. The only nearby routes across – the Wallace and Bankhead tunnels – prohibit trucks carrying hazardous materials.

While the Alabama Department of Transportation could not say how long the bridge would be closed, it placed signs directing drivers to take a detour north to Interstate 65 to cross the river.