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Trestle repairs almost complete

The railroad trestle spanning the Black Warrior River where it divides Marengo and Greene counties is almost repaired following a Sept. 26 accident that left the bridge unusable.

The counterweight that fell onto the track after its cable was knocked out of line is now back to normal working order, and rail traffic from the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway is back to normal as well.

“We are running two trains each day,” said Brett Wilson, assistant road master for Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway. “We’ve been running traffic for three weeks now. Finally, the bridge is back under its own power. They’ve got the cable system fixed, and we’re in the process of getting all of the guiding brackets back on.”

Wilson said the bridge should be back in automatic operation by the end of the week.

The base of the trestle was struck by a dredge and service boat owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early morning hours of Sept. 26. The collision jarred a guide wire loose, allowing the counterweight on the south (Marengo County) side of the trestle to go completely down, coming to rest on the railroad tracks, instead of remaining several inches above the tracks, like the counterweight on the north (Greene County) side. Scott Bridge Co. Inc. of Opelika effected the repairs.

Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway uses the trestle on its run from Pensacola, Fla., to Columbus, Miss. The trestle is an important part of this line that runs from Demopolis through Linden past Magnolia in Marengo County.