Accidents cause brief delays to Mississippi River barge traffic

Two separate incidents last week caused delays for barge tows along the Mississippi River. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the incidents affected grain barge traffic in both directions and the delays continued into this week.

On Aug. 12, a tug being towed by another vessel sunk at upper Mississippi River mile 43 near Thebes, Ill. Because of little clearance over the vessel, navigation through the area was restricted, the USDA said. On Aug. 16, a salvage operation lifted the wreck and operations began returning to normal. A minor incident occurred on Aug. 14 at the Melvin Price Lock and Dam facility near St. Louis. A barge struck the wall of the main lock causing a brief closure for inspection. The auxiliary lock had already been closed for planned repairs, resulting in a brief closure of traffic through the area. The main lock reopened by the end of the day. Neither accident resulted in injuries, the USDA said.

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