BRIEF: Traffic at locks and dams rises in 2009

By La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jan. 8–TRAFFIC — both in the number of vessels and tons moved — was up at area Mississippi River locks and dams during the 2009 navigation season.

A total of 8,394 vessels and 9.546 million tons of cargo passed through Lock and Dam 7 near Dresbach, Minn., according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Of the vessels, 947 were commercial, 7,134 recreational and 313 other types, such as government watercraft, according to the corps. That compares with 7,923 vessels and 7.258 million tons of commodities in 2008.

Lock and Dam 6 near Trempealeau saw 5,421 vessels and 9.5 million tons of cargo in 2009, up from 4,982 vessels and 7.24 million tons in 2008.

In 2009, 817 of the vessels were commercial, 4,516 recreational and 88 other types.

Lock and Dam 8 near Genoa handled 5,486 vessels in 2009, compared with 4,529 the previous year. About 10 million tons of cargo passed through the lock, up from 7.9 million tons in 2008. In the 2009 season, 842 vessels were commercial, 4,557 were recreational and 87 were “other.”

Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season, according to the corps.

The 2009 navigation season extended from March 23 to Dec. 6.

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