ST. LOUIS (January 13, 2013)--Crews have completed the most critical phase of removing bedrock that threatened to back up barges along a crucial stretch of the drought-starved Mississippi River in southern Illinois.
The work by contractors hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has staved off the shipping industry's fears that the treacherous channel could be closed to traffic.
Using excavators and explosives, workers cleared 365 cubic yards of limestone and added two vital feet of depth to the channel near Thebes, Ill., about 130 miles south of St. Louis.
That phase of the work began last month and addressed the most pressing threat.
Maj. Gen. John Peabody, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley division, said Saturday, "The work has deepened the channel enough to successfully maintain navigation though this critical reach of the river."
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.