On Jan. 5, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of a series of bendway weirs on the Mississippi River 90 miles south of Memphis, Tenn., in an area where the river is narrow and makes a sharp bend, according to the USDA Grain Transportation Report.
The bendway weirs are underwater structures that extend out from the river bank and redirect river currents to make a more reliable and safer navigation channel. Construction will be done from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is expected to take 90 days. Barge traffic will be halted during the construction periods and the daily accumulation of stopped barges will be allowed to pass the site each night, according to the USDA GTR.
During the week ending Jan. 10 barge grain movements totaled 580,585 tons—24.7% higher than the previous week and 27% higher than the same period last year, according to the Grain Transportation Report. During the week ending Jan. 10, 351 grain barges moved down river, up 21.5% from last week; 970 grain barges were unloaded in New Orleans, up 57% from the previous week, according to the USDA GTR.