KNOXVILLE - A barge traveling down the Tennessee River hit the Ijams Nature Center's River Trail Boardwalk on Wednesday, causing extensive damage.
The boardwalk, which extends about one-fifth of a mile over the river, is attached to a steep rock face. It is about 10 feet above the water.
Ijams officials initially thought the collision was going to be a hit-and-run case. But a representative from the barge's unidentified company called later in the day asking about damages. It is sending a representative to Ijams on Thursday.
"We consider it to be a lot of damage," said Diane Madison, Ijams executive director.
A 20-foot section of the boardwalk and three major pillars will need repairs. The trail is closed until repairs are done.