NEWS
Corps Optimistic on Miss. River Level
Fri Jan 4, 2013 02:54 PM CST

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Efforts taken to keep a crucial stretch of the drought-starved Mississippi River open to barge traffic should be sufficient to avert a shipping shutdown that the industry fears is imminent, Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard officials said Friday.

The corps said crews in recent weeks have made "fantastic" progress clearing treacherous bedrock from a channel about 150 miles south of St. Louis near Thebes, Ill. -- the portion of the river that has grown especially worrisome to barge operators moving an array of cargo to northern states and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

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