Ice accumulations continue to slow barge operations in the Midwest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Illinois River grain movements for the first nine weeks of 2014 were 1.1 million tons, 39 percent lower than the three-year average, according to the USDA’s Grain Transportation Report released today. However, Ohio River grain movements were 3.2 million tons, 49 percent higher than the three-year average. Repair work at the 1,200-foot main chamber at Melvin Price Locks and Dam (Locks and Dam 26) near St. Louis has slowed Mississippi River traffic in that area. During the repairs, the 600-foot auxiliary chamber at Melvin Price is operating to meet navigation demand. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the barge industry are working together to maintain the flow of barge traffic through the affected area, according to the USDA.