The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad is suing two companies whose barges rammed its Crescent Bridge in Davenport and two other Mississippi River spans in recent years.The railroad filed the federal suit in U.S. District Court in Rock Island. It seeks more than 100 grand in damages from the two commonly owned companies, Marquette Transportation Co. and Bluegrass Marine Inc. of Paducah, Kentucky. The suit says barges hit railroad bridges in both Burlington and Fort Madison in June of 1999 and the Crescent Bridge in June of 2001. Ironically, the lawsuit was filed last Thursday, just one day after runaway Marquette-owned barges struck the Crescent Bridge again. That incident is not part of this suit. The railroad has sued — and settled with — the two barge companies six times since 1997.
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