published Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Chattanooga mayor: dilapidated river barge ‘unacceptable’

A barge that was once partially submerged along the north shore of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga now floats in a state of disrepair.
A barge that was once partially submerged along the north shore of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga now floats in a state of disrepair.
Photo by Staff File Photo.

Poll
Should the barge be removed from Chattanooga?

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calling a dilapidated barge moored across from the Tennessee Aquarium “unacceptable.”

“Given the barge’s appearance and condition, the debris originating from it, the unlikelihood that the barge project can be salvaged, and the barge’s location, an ongoing permit allowing the barge to remain near Chattanooga’s public downtown riverfront spaces is unacceptable to our community,” he said in the letter dated last Tuesday.

Berke said he hopes the Corps will not allow the barge to remain permitted.

Chattanooga businessman Allen Casey floated the barge to the city from Pittsburgh in 2009 with the intention of putting in a New Orleans-style restaurant, a steakhouse and a bar.

The barge is moored to a vacant tract of land off Manufacturers Road, where Casey has said he’s trying to put together financing for not just the restaurant project but a mixed use development on the parcel.

He recently cleaned up the barge after local officials criticized its condition.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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