UPDATE: Allen Casey's barge passed safety inspection; could leav - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Allen Casey's barge passed safety inspection; could leave by Friday

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UPDATE: Doug Salik, Marine Safety Detachment of the United States Coast Guard, says that the barge that graces Chattanooga's North Shore is sea-worthy, capable of traveling down the Tennessee River.

The barge, a long-standing eyesore and thorn in the side of politicians, passed the safety inspection and may leave as soon as Friday.

PREVIOUS STORY: Graffiti, broken windows and trash litter the deck of Allen Casey's barge. 

“It's got some holes in it, it's got some leaks in it,” David Eck said.

As crews work to get the barge ready to leave the Scenic City, some have their doubts if the vessel will ever actually make it out of Nickajack Lock.

“The problem with this vessel is whatever pumps it did have have been long gone so it fills up with rain water. It's sunk twice now,” he said.

The Army Corps of Engineers tell Channel 3 it is working out a plan to get the barge to its new home on the Gulf Coast.

If the barge passes inspections, the Corps of Engineers say it will be gone as early as Friday.

For the man that's dedicated a lot of time managing the vessel's upkeep, it's hard seeing the saga come to an end.

“It brings tears to my eyes. I'll be really sad because in my mind, it's not the barge's fault. It's not the vessel's fault. It's the people that managed it. They did a very poor job managing it,” he added.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the Coast Guard will be in charge of those inspections. Once they are done the Corps can go ahead with its plans to move the barge.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates with this story.

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