Corps hires contractors, but river travel still risky

Dec 13, 2012 | 10:12 AM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Mississippi River, barge lines, river navigation, Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Council, Cap Grossman, Grossman Iron & Steel, Marty Hettel AEP River Operations

CHICAGO — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed that it hired two contractors to blast away at exposed rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River at Thebes, Ill., but barge operators and shippers say that without a release of water from upstream reservoirs the project won’t secure navigable channels until February.

Meanwhile, shippers are scrambling to transfer tonnage from barges to rail cars and trucks. While no one contacted by AMM could estimate whether capacity on those modes of transport will be sufficient, they do know it will cost them significantly more.

The contractors hired to remove rock at Thebes were expected to arrive on location Thursday and Monday, respectively, Arlington, Va.-based trade group Waterways Council said Tuesday.....

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