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Oklahoma highway reopens following shutdown after a barge hit a bridge

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SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma highway was reopened Saturday following its closure for a few hours after a bridge over the Arkansas River was struck by a barge.

Troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed a portion of U.S. Highway 59 south of Sallisaw at around 1:25 p.m. after the barge hit the bridge.

No injuries were reported on the highway or the barge, according to state patrol officials. The bridge crosses the Arkansas River where it enters the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, which is not far from Oklahoma’s border with Arkansas.

The highway reopened to traffic around 4 p.m.

“Engineers inspected the structure and found it safe to reopen,” the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said in an email.

A spokesperson for the highway patrol did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment on whether officials have determined what caused the barge to hit the bridge.

The news came as engineers began working Saturday to lift a section of twisted steel from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland after it crumpled into the Patapsco River after a massive cargo ship crashed into one of its main supports.