Broken barge finally removed from Mystic River

The broken up barge on the Mystic River is Being removed much to the relief of many, Sept. 9, 2014. (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH)– This is the day for which many had been waiting. Piece by piece – what was once a piece of history and became an eyesore is now being removed.

Frances Hoffman who is with CUSH – Clean Up Sound and Harbors – tells News 8, “it’s such a thrill to see this actually happening.”

The barge built in Mystic, spent some time in New London, and then was used as a breakwater for the Rt. 27 property on the Mystic River. But time and the tides broke it apart. Pieces of wood and wrought iron became navigational hazards for boats and others.

“The high school crew team would have to stop practice until those were removed. It was a big hazard that way,” says Hoffman.

Hoffman’s group started the quest to get the barge removed. She explains, “it’s sort of happy and sad at the same time because there’s a lot of history a lot of stories that barge has to tell and when it’s gone it’s gone.”

A piece of history which didn’t just fade away. It is embedded deep in the Mystic River it now and has to be carefully carted away.

“It’s unpredictable how it’s going to move. How solid the boards are going to be or how fragile they are,” says Hoffman.

Some pieces will be saved others will be taken by Willimantic Waste which is donating the containers. The town has waived the tipping fees.

Hoffman says, “this is really very much a community project.”

It is expected to take at least two days to get the barge completely removed.

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