Even when being towed, collision with a shipping vessel could cause havoc to surrounding structures if not addressed correctly. The Green Bay Press Gazette recently reported on minor but noticeable damage to the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay, in the northeastern peninsula of the state that juts out into Lake Michigan.
In this case, two tugboats were not enough to prevent the cargo vessel Texas from "bumping" the partially raised bridge on December 26, with both bridge and ship suffering damages. The source claims that the Texas was traveling less than 3 miles per hour at the time, yet still had enough momentum to collide with the bridge's railing.
Although it's not clear yet how much the repairs will cost, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said that it is investigating the damages and preparing for a construction crew to attend to the railing. In a press release, the organization said that this passageway has been re-opened to traffic, both on land and in the water.
The Gazette also said that the Texas was being taken to a dock at Centrepoint Yacht Services when the incident occurred. The crew working at the bridge attempted to raise it when they saw the vessel approaching but weren't able to get it high enough in time. There doesn't seem to have been any damage done to the tugboats.
The operators of the vessel involved in this kind of crash need to have appropriate marine insurance in place to cover all costs, since they could be deemed responsible.
Minor damage can still prove debilitating and harmful to continued service, especially in well-traveled public areas, and customized insurance will make these situations easier to deal with because the parties involved will be prepared.