Senator: Rock removal on Mississippi to start soon

By: The AP
By: The AP

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Officials say the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to expedite the blasting of two large Mississippi River rock pinnacles that are impeding barge traffic with river levels at dangerously low levels.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and two river industry trade groups said Tuesday that the corps informed them that blasting could begin next week on the large formations near the southern Illinois towns of Thebes and Grand Tower. That would be about a month-and-a-half earlier than first projected.

It's not clear how long the work would take, and Corps officials didn't return messages seeking comment.

Mississippi River concerns worsened last month when the corps reduced the flow from a dam on the upper Missouri River, which feeds the Mississippi.

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