Illinois River News

15 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Farm Facts

AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

USDA Study Underscores Value of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture.On August 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James toured Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, and held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the importance of the waterways,  agriculture and the U.S. economy. At the event, Secretary Perdue briefed agricultural and waterways stakeholders on a newly released study – Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture – from the U.S.

09 Oct 2019

Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround

Starved Rock Lock, ACE Rock Island District (Credit: USACE)

A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime, freight and agricultural businesses to look ahead now, to prepare a logistics scenario that will be ready by July 1, 2020.

30 Aug 2019

U.S. Agriculture Needs Waterways Upgrades

Image: USDA

U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) have commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study…

29 Aug 2019

USDA Releases Powerful Inland Waterways Study

File Image: WCI

WCI/NGFA Urge NESP Infrastructure Project to Move Forward.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S.

19 Jul 2019

Coast Guard Responds to Tugboat Casualties

The salvage operation on the Illinois River is now complete. Image: USCG

The Coast Guard has transitioned from pollution response to the investigation phase of a major marine casualty that occurred July 5, 2019, involving three vessels that sank in the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois.Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 20.7 on the Illinois River. Sector UMR responded to the scene to find all three vessels fully submerged.The vessels were identified as Chatty Sue Smith…

17 Jul 2019

St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures

File Image: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in  More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…

08 Jul 2019

USCG Responds to Three Tugboats Sinking

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexandria Preston

The Coast Guard is responding to three vessels that sunk on the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report Friday of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 21 on the Illinois River.The sinking tugboats are holding approximately 4,850 gallons of diesel and oil.Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched personnel to work with the tugboat company…

03 Jul 2019

Maritime Simulation & Training: a partnership that pays off

Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate closely to ensure that all FMT wheelhouse personnel are ready for every eventuality ahead.

It is truly no accident that Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate so closely.Zero incidents, zero injuries and eliminating critical barge and equipment failures doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It’s a result of continual safety training that breeds operational awareness and confidence to anticipate a difficult situation on an inland waterway before it actually occurs.With a high school education, Capt. Shelden Detrafford started out making $25/day in the 1960s.

02 May 2019

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

09 May 2018

Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location

(Photo: TPG)

A recent dry dock rehab project in Chicago provides new options and money saving opportunities for inland and Great Lakes stakeholders alike.From software to steel plating, Indiana-based TPG Marine Enterprises provides a range of services in the Great Lakes and inland waterways markets. River based tug and barge services are based in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon, IN, on the Ohio River, as well as on Kentucky’s Green River. The company also owns TPG Chicago Dry Dock, located on the Calumet River.

23 Feb 2018

Flooding Cripples Grain Barge Shipments in U.S. Midwest

CREDIT: MVFCA

Grain barge shipping came to a near standstill in parts of the U.S. Midwest on Thursday as recent heavy rain and melting snow swelled rivers, halted barge loading and sidelined the towboats that haul farm belt crops to Gulf Coast export terminals. The flooded waterways sent cash premiums for corn barges delivered to Gulf Coast terminals soaring. Rates hit peaks on Thursday that have not been seen in 18 months, as exporters scrambled to secure enough grain to top off vessels bound for overseas markets, traders said.

01 Nov 2017

What’s the Cost of Unscheduled Lock Outages?

(Photo: USACE)

Unscheduled lock closures burden the shipper supply chain by more than $1 billion annually, according to estimates from two Tennessee universities. A study, “The Impacts of Unscheduled Lock Outages”, released today by the National Waterways Foundation (NWF) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD), looks at the economic impacts of unscheduled lock outages and highlights economic benefits associated with reliable inland waterways navigation. The Center for Transportation Research…

11 May 2017

CME Lifts 'Force Majeure' at Some Illinois River Locales

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jim Pintar)

The CME Group Inc on Thursday said it lifted the majority of force majeure conditions invoked at corn and soybean shipping stations on the Illinois River earlier this month. Force majeure conditions continue to exist at some exchange-approved corn and soybean shipping stations, which may prevent these facilities from loading, the CME said. Corn and soybean futures are traded on the CME's Chicago Board of Trade. On May 4, the CME declared force majeure due to load-out impossibility…

27 Mar 2017

Coalition Urges Congress to Address Asian Carp in the Great Lakes

© Dale Stagg / Adobe Stock

A coalition of maritime business and industry organizations sent a letter to key Members of Congress on Friday, March 24 urging funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to further support efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois to slow, stop and reverse the migration of Asian carp, an aquatic invasive species, through cost-effective measures. In the letter, the UnLock Our Jobs (UOJ) coalition members review the record of success that the GLRI has had in working with the State of Illinois to develop a range of strategies to control Asian carp…

06 Mar 2017

OP/Ed: New Year, New Opportunity

The start of a new year often brings change, but in the nation’s capital, 2017 means a new President and Administration, and a new Congress. Waterways Council, Inc.’s objective remains the same as it has since our start in 2005: to advocate for a modern, efficient and reliable inland waterways transportation system. For WCI, achieving this means working from our “three-legged advocacy stool” approach to educating these new Washingtonians through direct lobbying, stakeholder support and outreach, and media relations.

10 Nov 2016

US Coast Guard Hosts Subchapter M Forum

Steven Douglas from the Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise explains the inspections requirements for new and existing towing vessels outlined in Subchapter M, at Illinois Marine Towing Nov. 9, 2016. Douglas presented the information during a forum held to educate more than 80 industry representatives from across the Midwest. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Byron Rios)

Marine Safety Unit Chicago and the U.S. Coast Guard Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise hosted an informational outreach forum Wednesday with towing vessel operators to explain the implementation of the new regulations for the inspection of towing vessels, Subchapter M. The meeting was held at the offices of Illinois Marine Towing in Lemont Wednesday morning with more than 80 industry representatives from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin attending. This informational…

01 Nov 2016

Tech File: BoomVane - A Powerful Boom Deployment System

Photo: Elastec

The BoomVane is one of the most useful and interesting tools available to oil spill responders for shoreline and single vessel boom deployment. Maintaining an effective oil containment boom configuration with two vessels is difficult to coordinate. The Elastec BoomVane solves that problem. BoomVane can also tow heavier booms greater distances than an outrigger arm resulting in wider sweep swaths. Illinois-based Elastec is the manufacturer and owner of the proprietary BoomVane technology. Elastec offers four BoomVane sizes to accommodate various water depths.

28 Sep 2016

Rethinking Inland Infrastructure Finance

Photo: Ruben Diaz

P3: An alternative to tolls or lockage fees in public-private partnerships for inland waterways. Within the generally sorry state of the U.S. inland waterways infrastructure, there are some locations where conditions are particularly dire. Among those in this latter situation are several locks and dams on the Illinois River, including the La Grange Lock and Dam and the Peoria Lock and Dam, both of which were completed in 1939. Both of them are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, which is a dubious distinction for a major transportation facility of the twenty-first century.

20 Jan 2016

Coast Guard Western Rivers High Water Closures, Restrictions

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest and South. Illinois River is open to traffic. The Coast Guard recommends that mariners transit the river in daylight hours only. The Missouri River is open to vessel traffic. The Coast Guard urges mariners to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any changes to the river. For more details on the closures set in place by Sector Upper Mississippi River call the command center at 314-269-2610. The Paducah-Louisville railroad bridge at mile marker 94.8 on Green River requires one-hour notice for opening. The Louisville-Nashville Swing Bridge at mile marker 190.4 on Cumberland River is closed. A safety advisory is in place from mile marker 110 to mile marker 0.

10 Jan 2016

Western Rivers High Water Closures, Restrictions - Update

Mississippi River Photo DNR

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has re-opened the Mississippi River surrounding the St. Louis Harbor from mile marker 179 to mile marker 185.

04 Jan 2016

Coast Guard Advises Western River Closures, Restrictions

File image: a Mississippi River fleeting operation. (WCI)

The United States Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

03 Jan 2016

US Western Rivers Closures, Restrictions

Image USCG

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. * Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

01 Jan 2016

US Midwest Rivers Closures, Restriction

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures and restrictions in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois. Restrictions on Mississippi River from mile marker 110, near Chester Illinois, to mile marker 34, near Billings Landing, Missouri.

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