In 1972, several gasoline barges exploded underneath of the railroad bridge and the adjacent suspension bridge, causing damage to both of the bridges and buildings on the shore. Two people, the barge operator and his deckhand, were killed in the blast. The damage was estimated to total over $100,000. The railroad bridge suffered significant damage to the main span, which warped the rails and railbed. The incident closed both bridges for some time as repairs were conducted, with inspections being performed for months afterward.
In 2015, another barge struck the piers of the railroad bridge. However, it was only a glancing blow by the first two barges of a ten barge load pushed by the tugboat, Tensas. Other than a loud banging noise, there was no damage to the bridge itself.