About 1:30 Sunday afternoon a Marshall Islands-flagged tank ship crashed into one of the fenders surrounding the support structures of the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. The bridge which spans the Mississippi River near Donaldsonville has had its issues over the past months with wayward watercraft careening into it.

When the U.S. Coast Guard received notice that the ship, Dank Silver, struck the bridge efforts were immediately put in place to suspend traffic across the bridge until a damage assessment could be made.

The picture above, Tweeted by the City of Donaldsonville, shows what appears to be damage limited to the fenders around the bridge supports. These fenders are designed to absorb impacts and protect the bridge structure. In this case, it looks as if the fender system worked because traffic was flowing across the bridge after only a few hours.

You might recall last fall the Sunshine Bridge was struck by another vessel. The ramifications of that crash meant the bridge had to be closed for several months while damaged could be assessed and repairs made.

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