Coast Guard reopens Illinois River to vessel traffic

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened the Illinois River at the Florence Highway Bridge after completing salvage operations on a partially sunken barge, Tuesday. In an effort to lessen the number of vessels waiting to transit, the Captain of the Port in Sector Upper Mississippi River is going to allow five towing vessels to transit before sundown, re-close the river, then open the river at dawn Wednesday to the remaining vessels.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River closed the river Saturday to all commercial and recreational traffic from mile marker 55.5 to mile marker 56.5 when the 120-foot towing vessel Billy Waxler, pushing 12 barges loaded with grain, allided with the bridge. No waterway pollution or injuries have been reported.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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