Inland Waterway Accidents

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Lowndes County Port

Situated on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Lowndes County Port is an inland port near Columbus, Mississippi, operated by the Lowndes County Port Authority. There is a presence on both sides of the waterway which caters to barges. It is located at river mile marker 330 and is considered small in size. The canal ranges in depth but is generally at least 12 feet deep providing accessibility for barges and other similar vessels. The Tenn-Tom Waterway extends across the state and allows access to the Gulf of Mexico.


The port was authorized by the county in 1985 and was operational in 1987. Although it is a relatively new port, it is one of the most important hubs in northeast Mississippi. Barge transportation is essential to the economy of the area because it attracts large industrial and commercial businesses. It serves what is called the “Golden Triangle” area including adjoining counties in Alabama. Because of its popularity, there are expansion plans being considered that include a new complex.

Located on a part of the river that is naturally cut off from the main channel, it makes an ideal area for barge loading and unloading activities. The west bank has a two-barge dock that is primarily used for transporting raw materials to a large local steel mill, Steel Dynamics, Inc. The east bank barge terminal is operated by Kinder Morgan and accommodates bulk steel and scrap in addition to construction materials, chemicals, petroleum coke and other bulk products.

Facilities and Services

This is a full-service port that offers facilities for barges and other vessels. It has a 40-ton overhead bridge and a crawler crane with a capacity of 100 tons. There are docks with mooring facilities and a crane with a covered two-berth unloading dock. Additional facilities include a conveyor, bulk hopper, and truck and rail scales.

A 68,000-square foot warehouse is located on the site, and there is additional paved outdoor storage space. There is also a paved container truck marshaling yard that is more than 200,000 square feet in size. 20 acres of land is available for development.

US-82 and US-45 are both located just a couple from the facility. There is rail connection with the Kansas City Southern Railroad which also connects with other rail systems including CAGY, VN, Norfolk Southern and AGR.

Tenn-Tom Waterway

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway extends 234 miles between the Tennessee River and the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River. It is a man-made waterway that provides inland access to many local areas and towns along its path. It took 12 years to complete and has a series of 10 locks and dams. It has been in service since 1984. In 1988 there was a drought that temporarily rerouted river traffic from the Mississippi, helping to boost the Tenn-Tom traffic and improve the economic situation for towns along the path.

Working on a barge is a difficult and often dangerous occupation. Those who were injured in barge accidents may be covered by the Jones Act. If you were seriously hurt in a maritime accident, we can help. Contact us by filling out the online form today.

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