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Port of Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The Port of Tuscaloosa is a very small port located on the Black Warrior River in the area of west-central Alabama that is called West Alabama. Black Warrior River, also known as simply the Warrior River, is a major tributary of the Tombigbee River, the major waterway through the region. The river has a system of locks and dams, and the river is accessible by barge. Tuscaloosa is the fifth largest city in the state and is a regional center for industry and commerce.

The primary products that are transported are dry bulk commodities such as coal and coal coke. A steel company utilizes barge shipments and has a connection to the Kansas City Southern Railroad for metal products including steel slabs, plates, coils, ingots, and bars, among others.

Some of the city’s most important companies utilize the waterway as a method of transporting their goods. Some of the companies located nearby include BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing, Hunt Refining Company, Nucor Steel, and GAF Materials Corporation. The port is located at mile marker 338.5.


The Port of Tuscaloosa was created through a system of locks and dams built on the river by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the late 1800s. It provided a connection to the Gulf of Mexico through the Port of Mobile. The waterway allows barges to travel through the region and across the globe. It allowed the region to grow commercially, including important mining and metallurgy industries.

Locks and dams continued to be maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers and allow barges to reach Birmingham. Barges typically navigate through Tuscaloosa, to Mobile and out to the Gulf of Mexico. This is accomplished by navigating through the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Connections via rail, road, and air are nearby. There are several large highways including US 11, U.S. 43, and U.S. 82 and Interstates I-20/I-59 and 359 are all close by. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is 53 miles away, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is about 200 miles away in Atlanta, Ga.

Barge Accidents

Barge accidents can occur, and when they do, there may be serious injuries or fatalities. The most common types of barge accidents are slips and falls, often due to wet or slippery decks. Another problem occurs when a worker falls off the barge into the water. Workers should use personal protective equipment and other devices designed to help prevent accidents.

The Black Warrior River has had problems with silting in some areas. The bottom can build up with sand and other materials making it difficult to navigate. This can cause a barge to run aground. Grounding is a serious accident that typically requires tow assistance. In some cases, workers are injured, and the vessel can be damaged. Employers are required to ensure the safety of their workers. OSHA and the U.S. Coast Guard handle accidents that occur on waterways in the United States.

If you were seriously injured in a port or barge accident, contact us today by filling out the form so we can discuss your legal options.

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