Delays at locks along the Mississippi River were easing on June 1 as a glut of northbound barges that congested locks after the river reopened last week made their way upriver, river officials said.
Locks 24 and 25 in Winfield and Clarksville, Mo., the last two and most southerly locks to be reopened last Wednesday after a month-long river closure, were initially hit with back-ups of as many as 30 barge tows and delays of close to 40 hours, officials said.
On June 1, however, lock 25 had no tows backed up and lock 24 had only eight tows waiting to lock through. Lock 22 near Hannibal, Missouri, had 10 tows backed up on Friday afternoon, with a wait time of about 10 to 15 hours, but river officials were hopeful that the back-up would thin out to 2 to 5 tows by early next week.
Locks north of Hannibal were seeing between five and 10 tows as grain barges resumed normal travel routes after being restricted from navigating the Mississippi from April 16 to May 23 as the river waters surged far above flood stage.