Monday, January 24, 2005

Barge Fire Update II

I drove past the scene of the Barge Fire Cicero & 40th Chicago and checked on my observations in Barge Fire Update. It seems the barge sank because the fire department used water hoses in addition to foam. This filled the barge high enough to cause it to fill and sink.

The fairway in the channel has been cleared enough to allow traffic to pass. The barge is close alongside the bank of the canal in relatively shallow water with a containment boom well out into the channel. The assumption is that the barge has been pulled out of the way as expected. The damage to the barge is less serious than the TV reports suggested (there’s a surprise!). Since the water is now just a few feet above the deck, this is a good candidate for a cofferdam and pump job. You build a wall (the cofferdam) around the edge of the deck, patch any holes in the hull and pump it out! It will eventally float and can be towed away. Problem solved.


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