The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District will begin work Tuesday on the Middle Mississippi River at Thebes, Ill., to remove rocks that pose a threat to navigation during low river stages.
Contractors working for the Corps will remove approximately 2,800 cubic yards of rock as a permanent improvement to the navigation channel over the next few months, with options for additional removal in future years. The rock removal project continues work begun last year when river levels dipped to near-record lows from St. Louis south to the Ohio River confluence.
The Corps of Engineers is responsible for providing a reliable channel for navigation nine feet deep and at least 300 feet wide, with additional width in river bends. Last year’s removal efforts focused primarily on providing adequate depth in the channel, while this year, work will provide the needed width for barge traffic to continue when the river narrows during low water.
River navigation is critical to the nation’s economy: more than 100 million tons of cargo passes through the Middle Mississippi River annually, including 60 percent of our nation’s agricultural exports.
Excerpted from an Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District news release. For more information, visit www.mvs.usace.army.mil.