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Bridges Closed After Ships Break Loose On Hudson

Update at 10:05 a.m. Friday: Several bridges over the Hudson River near Troy have now been reopened as a number of ships float freely on the Hudson River. The Dunn Memorial, Patroon Island, Congress Street and Menands bridges were all closed at some point this morning. Petty Officer Michael White says the Coast Guard is investigating what caused the ships to break free early Friday. White says there have been no reports of injuries or pollution at this time.

"The Coast Guard cutter Penobscot Bay, a 140-foot ice breaker, and Coast Guard cutter Wire, which is a 65-foot ice breaking tug, have been dispatched and are en route to the scene to assist," White said Friday morning. "An overflight from a Coast Guard aircraft is scheduled to take place to assess the exact positions of the adrift vessels. Two commerical tugs are also responding to assist."

Amtrak says it is still running trains across the Livingston Avenue Bridge over the Hudson River between Albany and Rensselaer as several boats float adrift amid loose ice in the river. An Amtrak spokesman says speed over the bridge is restricted to 10mph and the bridge has not been damaged. Company workers are on the scene inspecting the bridge, part of Amtrak’s Empire Corridor passenger rail line.

Update at 9:05 a.m. Friday: The Troy Police Department says the Congress Street Bridge and Troy/ Menands Bridge are now reopened. New York State Police say The Patroon Island Bridge is still closed due to several loose vessels floating south on the Hudson River from Troy.

The Congress Street Bridge in Troy, New York is closed after a boat on the Hudson River hit the bridge. Troy Police Deputy Chief Dan DeWolf says the department closed the bridge after The Captain JP hit the structure early Friday morning so the state transportation department can inspect it. 

DeWolf says the Captain JP and the Rusty Anchor Restaurant barge are floating freely in the Hudson River after breaking free of their moorings along the sea wall in Troy. DeWolf says the Troy/Menands bridge is also closed as a precaution in the event one of these vessels strikes that bridge.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified as well as a number of other agencies in the hope of eventually securing these vessels,” DeWolf said. “As the vessels move south in the river they may impact the train bridge as well as other bridges crossing the Hudson River.

When notified of the situation, State forces including NYSDOT engineers and public safety officials, converged to the scene and are currently coordinating a response," said Joe Morrissey of NYS DOT. "New York State Police officials are also on the scene and out of an abundance of caution have closed the bridges to the traveling public until the situation is contained."

State Police advise motorists to seek alternate routes.

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