Miss. River work welcomed, but is it enough?

Dec 18, 2012 | 04:32 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Mississippi River, water level, rock removal, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, John Peabody, U.S. Coast Guard, Colin Fogarty, barge traffic Sen. Dick Durbin

CHICAGO — Contractors hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have begun blasting away at exposed rock formations in the Mississippi River at Thebes, Ill., in order to permanently improve the navigable channel there for barge traffic.

Work at Thebes began Monday on the rock formations, while the Army Corps since Saturday has increased the flow of water into the river from Carlyle Lake in Illinois—both efforts to eliminate the danger that low water levels on the Mississippi have posed to shipping (amm.com, Dec. 13).

"Water from the lake will help provide the depth necessary for river commerce to pass Thebes, Ill., where rock formations pose a risk to navigation at minus 5 feet and below on the St. Louis gauge," Maj. Gen. John Peabody, commander of the Army Corps’ Mississippi Valley division, said.....

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