Feds plan to clear up Old Man River

  • 01

    Water levels on the Mississippi River are dangerously low and navigation -- including the movement of grain -- is being threatened and may have to halt until levels can rise. The Army Corps of Engineers has a plan to demolish rocks in the river channel using explosives to enable continued navigation.

  • 02

    The area of greatest concern is around St. Louis, in the "Thebes Reach" of the river where rocks in the river channel are in danger of blocking any barges from passing through.

  • 03

    Here's another look at the area the Army Corps of Engineers is focusing on for rock removal. In the late 1980s, the Corps went about the process using drilling and blasting.

  • 04

    Then in 2009, the grinding method, using a tool like this one, was deemed ineffective and funding for a previous rock removal project was removed.

  • 05

    These 7 areas, according to the Army Corps of Engineers are the ones that pose the greatest risk to navigation under low-water conditions. They're the ones currently targeted for rock removal via explosives.

  • 06

    This graphic shows how much of the river in the Thebes Reach of the Mississippi is in danger of sinking below navigable depths. The full extent of the potential navigation interruption will be known by December 15, officials say.

Federal officials are planning a demolition project to help preserve Mississippi River navigation (courtesy Army Corps of Engineers).

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