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AWO, WCI Address Mississippi River Conditions

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, Barge Industry and Shipping Industry Representatives Hold Press Conference to Address Ongoing Mississippi River Navigation Concerns Due to Continued Drought and Low Water Conditions.   Representatives of the barge and shipping industries, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard, held a press conference on the Mississippi River near St. Louis to address navigation and shipping concerns, as well as government-industry cooperation in managing the Mississippi River during continued drought and low water conditions. A developing situation on the Mississippi River could effectively bring commerce to a halt in early December.   Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month and these reductions are expected to negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, IL beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, IL, which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows. The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around December 10.  

Governors Write Obama for Mississippi River Funding

Governors seek President Obama’s support for upper Mississippi River commercial navigation locks and ecosystem The Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River States of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin are seeking President Obama’s support for critical investments in the Upper Mississippi River System as a nationally significant navigation system and a nationally significant ecosystem

Missouri River Basin is Booming

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is maintaining above normal releases at the four lower dams on the Missouri River. The excess water will allow the Corps to extend the navigation season and provide higher winter releases. Navigation service to the mouth of the Missouri River will now be extended until December 10. Conditions in the basin affected by tributary inflow could extend the season for days after that.

Missouri River Operating Proposal

After nearly five years of intense study and debate, the USACE, Northwestern Division has begun to make public the operating parameters it will recommend for the future operation of the Missouri River. The recommendation comes in advance of a soon-to-be-released Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the next step in revising the controversial Missouri River Master Water Control Manual. The recommended operating plan, or "preferred alternative

Drought Stricken Mississippi Now Flooding

Seven Mississippi River locks between Muscatine, Iowa, and Saverton, Missouri, expected to close as water-level rises. The closures of Locks 16 through 22 will effectively shut the river to commercial navigation from central Iowa to northern Missouri, reports Reuters, citing information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Some 60 percent of U.S. grain exports are shipped via the Mississippi River and its tributaries from farms in the Midwest to export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico.

Ice Melt Aids Mississippi Navigation

Ice melt and rising water levels on the Illinois and upper-Mississippi rivers improved barge movement but traffic was backed up near Alton, Illinois, after the Melvin Price lock reopened, officials said Thursday. The Melvin Price auxiliary lock on the upper-Mississippi River near Alton began locking tows at 7 p.m. on Wednesday after closing the lock on Monday to flush ice from the dam. "They're not finished flushing ice but they are locking because most of the heavy ice has passed

Mississippi Dredging To Continue In Low Water

Low water on the upper Mississippi River will continue to prompt dredging activities to promote safe navigation of barges and other vessels in coming months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The Corps, which operates locks and dams and oversees river conditions on U.S. interior waterways, said in a statement that it met with commercial shippers and U.S. Coast Guard officials on Thursday to discuss problems being caused by low water.

The Quest to Fund Inland Waterways

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Infrastructure Projects: Perhaps Not So Quixotic After All? Over the course of 2014, significant steps forward were taken in the quest to find additional sources of funding for inland waterways infrastructure projects. First came the long awaited and much-celebrated Water Resources, Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) in June, which included several provisions to address the funding needs of the ever-worsening condition of the inland waterways infrastructure

Clock Continues to Tick, Time for Action is Now


In response to the December 6 letter from Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy to Senator Richard Durbin providing an analysis of the impact of additional Missouri River releases to sustain navigation traffic on the Mississippi River, The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) have issued the following statement: We reiterate that barge operators and shippers throughout the nation that rely on safe and efficient water transportation

Tug Sinks Spills Oil Fuel, Upper Mississippi River Section Closed

The 144-foot towboat 'Stephen L. Colby‚Ä®' struck a submerged object near LeClaire and sank. At the time of the sinking, nine crewmembers were aboard and all were able to make it to safety, reports the Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River. Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reported to be on board the sunken vessel, and the Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 493 to mile maker 501 on the upper Mississippi River to allow for safe

AEP to Sell AEP River Ops To ACL

An AEP river tow (File image)

American Electric Power (AEP) has signed an agreement to sell its commercial barge transportation subsidiary, AEP River Operations LLC, to American Commercial Lines (ACL), owned by Platinum Equity, for approximately $550 million. AEP River Operations is a commercial inland barge company

Insights: Tracy Zea, Director-Government Relations, WCI

Tracy R. Zea

Washington-based Tracy R. Zea advocates for Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system. Zea also works to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S

MN 100: AEP River Operations

President: Keith Darling

AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier. Complementing its barge operations is a fleet of over 80 boats ranging in power from  1,550 to 11,000 hp. The Company: Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering service

USCG Rescues Woman from Missouri River

Photo Coast Guard

  Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Gasconade rescued a woman from the Missouri River near the I-680 Bridge, Monday. While at homeport, a crewman working late to mow the grass heard screaming and saw the woman floating down the river.

USCG Reopen Upper Mississippi River


  The Coast Guard has reopened the Upper Mississippi River to marine traffic at 11:45 a.m. today. A portion of the river was closed due to a sunken towing vessel located at mile marker 173, earlier today. The closure took place when the Charlie Boy

Mariner Missing from Capsized Towboat

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to the report of a missing person and capsized vessel in the Upper Mississippi River, Monday.   Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received the report Sunday at approximately 7:30 p

American Cruise Lines Names New Riverboat

American Cruise Lines announced the name of its new Mississippi paddlewheeler – America – currently under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md.   The America is American built, flagged and crewed, which is symbolic of the true all-American experience

Dredging in Hudson River Nears Completion

 Pic: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 After six years of digging, General Electric Co. expects to finish this year removing some 2.7 million cubic yards of contaminated river sediment in upper Hudson River in Waterford under its landmark Superfund agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  

The Critical Link in Hudson River Remediation Project

Photos courtesy of Sennebogen

Approximately three times a week, for six months of the year, trains depart from upstate New York, en route to one of three EPA-approved long-term disposal facilities. The trains, which are loaded with dewatered, PCB-containing sediments, represent the last leg of a complex environmental dredging

Tropical Storm Bill Pelts Texas Coast

Tropical Storm Bill punched the Texas coast with heavy rains and strong winds on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said, just three weeks after floods killed about 30 people in the state.   The second named tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall near Matagorda

Burger Boat Launches Wendella Passenger Vessel

Photo: Burger Boat Company

Burger Boat Company announced the launch of P/V Lucia, an 89-foot steel passenger vessel for Wendella Sightseeing Company, Inc.   Lucia, designed by Timothy Graul Marine Design of Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., was launched into the Manitowoc River Friday, May 29 with her owners

Viking Star Towed into London

Credit: Viking Star

Kotug Rotortugs RT Ambition and RT Evolution were charged with a special task this morning as they towed new cruise ship Viking Star on her first call to the Port of London. RT Ambition and RT Evolution towed Viking Star through the Thames Tidal Barrier on the Upper River Thames and assisted

Sixth Season of Hudson River Dredging Begins

After an area has been dredged of contaminated sediment to the EPAs standards, clean backfill is transported on a barge by a tug boat. The backfill replaces dredged sediment and maintains the natural contours of the riverbed. (Photo: EPA)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck announced the start of the sixth, and final, season of dredging of PCB-contaminated sediments from the bottom of the Hudson River. The historic dredging project – one of the largest and most complex cleanups in

Grounded Bulker Refloated on St. Marys River

Cargo from the grounded 603-foot Canadian bulk carrier Mississagi (right) is offloaded onto a barge as lightering operations commenced to refloat the vessel April 25, 2015. The Mississagi became grounded early Wednesday whi

The grounded 603-foot Canadian bulk carrier Mississagi was refloated on the St. Marys River following operations to offload approximately 2,000 tons of stone, Saturday. The motor vessel, carrying more than 17,000 tons of stone, was transiting downbound the St

Spotlight on Intermodal River Transport

Photo: Ingram Barge Company

Ingram Barge Company’s towboat, the M/V Miss Shirley, arrived at America’s Central Port in Granite City, Illinois, transporting containers via barge as part of a demonstration to show the viability of intermodal river transportation.  

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