Coast Guard Re-opens Mississippi River to limited vessel traffic

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard re-opened the Mississippi River from mile marker 180 to mile marker 184 to limited vessel traffic today at 2:30 p.m.

The Mississippi River was closed today to all vessel traffic when a barge sank in the river channel at approximately marker 182 after the barge struck the McKinley Bridge in downtown St. Louis.

The Coast Guard, working with local industry partners, has determined it safe for limited vessel traffic to transit through the area of the sunken barge from Eads Bridge, mile marker 180, to the south end of the Chain of Rocks Canal, mile marker 184.

Local towing service fleets and docks in the area will be allowed to operate with 2 barges in tow northbound and one barge in tow southbound.

Additionally, larger tows will be allowed to transit northbound through the area, in an attempt to minimize affects of the closure on the towing industry.

All vessel traffic transit in this area will be limited to daylight hours and no meeting or passing in the vacinity of the barge is authorized at this time.

The sunken barge remains at its current position.

Salvage operations are expected to begin Friday.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation by Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River.

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