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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: cargo ship that collapsed Baltimore bridge can weigh more than 30 times as much as barges in Kentucky rivers

John Boyle
After the Baltimore bridge collapse, some Kentucky motorists may be a little nervous while crossing tall bridges like the Sherman Minton in Louisville.

After a cargo ship struck a Baltimore bridge and collapsed it early Tuesday morning, Kentucky motorists may be wondering whether that type of tragedy could happen here.

State Transportation Cabinet officials declined an interview request, but released a statement. It says the type of cargo ship that struck the Baltimore bridge early Tuesday morning can be more than 30 times heavier than the largest barges on Kentucky rivers. The statement also pointed out barges aren’t as tall as cargo ships.

A 2022 guide from the state Transportation Cabinet says all bridges on public roads must be inspected at least every two years and underwater portions at least every five years. In a 2019 study, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Kentucky bridges an overall C-minus grade. According to a spokesman, that group has not performed a similar study since.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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