Science, Health and Technology
8:28 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Army Corps adding water to Mississippi River to aid barge traffic

Amid strong concerns about the declining level of the already low Mississippi River, the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from an Illinois lake to add to the flow of the Mississippi.

Corps of Engineers officials on Saturday began releasing water at Carlyle Lake in southern Illinois, saying the additional water will provide the depth needed for barge traffic to safely pass Thebes, Ill. Rock formations there will begin to pose a threat to navigation if the river drops another couple of feet.

The corps has hired contractors to blast away the formations with work expected to begin this week. The corps says the additional water from Carlyle Lake is expected to fully reach Thebes by Christmas Eve, providing an additional six inches of depth to the river.