Lowered Mississippi River reveals hazards to barge traffic
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers from drought-stricken states along the Mississippi River on Thursday asked the Army Corps of Engineers and President Obama to act quickly to remove navigation hazards from the river that threaten to slow or stop barge traffic.
Low water levels have made it difficult for the corps to maintain a 9-foot-deep and 300-foot-wide navigation channel for barges on the river, an economic lifeline that carries billions of dollars of agricultural products, coal, chemicals and petroleum.
The low water also gives the corps an opportunity to remove a cluster of troublesome rock formations in several miles of the river just south of Cape Girardeau, Mo. Removing them will require shutting down the shipping channel for 12 hours at a time, creating a temporary headache for shippers.
“Long-term this would be in the best interest of navigation,” said Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the corps in Vicksburg, Miss. “Short-term it might be a little bit difficult.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Texan who targeted Mexican consulate in Austin killed in shootout with police
- Ferguson-related unrest disrupts Black Friday shopping in several cities
- Maine State Prison draws Black Friday shoppers
- Sunlight reduces risk of nearsightedness in children, study suggests
- Bombers to train over Plains
- Boys in New York buried for hours in snow pile
- FBI uses journalists as bait for terrorists, escapee from Syrian group says
- Fissures begin to emerge among Dems
- Homeless woman’s stun gun spurs 2nd Amendment case
- Even before Ebola contained, U.S. looks to next health crisis
- VA fires director of Phoenix veterans hospital