Boat meets CSX bridge in Albany, NY

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Amtrak Empire Service train 281 from New York Penn Station to Niagara Falls, N.Y., crosses the Livingston Avenue Bridge in Albany, N.Y., as the Captain JP III cruise ship remains wedged against the bridge on Friday, Jan. 25.
Dan Kittay
ALBANY, N.Y. — One of eight boats that broke free from their moorings in New York's Capital Region early Friday is lodged under the Livingston Avenue Bridge in Albany. The bridge is used by Amtrak and CSX Transportation for east-west traffic in New York and beyond.

"There has been no damage to the structure, and no cancellation of any of our trains," says Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams. There have been minor delays of trains because of speed restrictions on the bridge of 10 mph, Abrams says. The normal speed on the bridge is 25 mph.

While CSX owns the bridge, a CSX spokeswoman says the tracks are leased to and maintained by Amtrak.

State, local, and federal officials were responding to the incident. The U.S. Coast Guard has sent two ice breakers to the scene, says Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier. They were expected to arrive Friday afternoon. The smaller of the two boats will go under the bridge and attempt to break up ice that surrounds the boat. Commercial tug boats will then attempt to pull the stuck boat free from where it is wedged against the bridge, Strohmaier says.

The wedged boat is the Captain JP III, a 300-foot passenger cruise ship based in Troy, N.Y. It and the other boats likely came loose due to a large amount of ice that had been freed up because of warmer weather and rain, says Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. The ice slammed into the boats, causing them to break free from their moorings and head downstream. They hit several vehicle-carrying bridges on their journey, causing each of the bridges to be temporarily closed and then reopened after inspections.
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