Damaged bridge stops barge traffic on Ark. River

      VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) - Barge traffic is shut down on the Arkansas River in western Arkansas after damage was discovered on a railroad bridge.

      Officials say two broken cables tilted the northern end of the bridge in between Fort Smith and Van Buren. Train crews discovered the dysfunctional rail late Monday when a northbound train was heading back from Fort Smith.

      The cables are used to raise and lower the bridge.

      Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Police Chief Ron Sparks says rail traffic has been diverted until the bridge can be fixed. The Southwest Times Record reports ( ) that the damaged bridge has left barge and tugboat traffic at a standstill until the bridge is repaired.

      Sparks says bridge inspectors will assess the damage Wednesday and determine the cause of the break.


      Information from: Southwest Times Record,

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