Significant rain and ongoing rock removal near Thebes, IL, have reduced immediate concerns for a traffic closure of the Mississippi River between St. Louis, MO, and Cairo, IL. The Thebes gage rose from 3.7 feet on Jan. 9 to 13.2 feet on Jan. 14. As of Jan. 17, the gage is 12.2 feet.
The extra water increases the vessel draft clearance over the submerged pinnacles. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates the current surge in water levels will allow sufficient flows to sustain navigation through Feb. 13.
The rock pinnacle removal work will continue, and channel closures are scheduled for 16 hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day; traffic will be allowed to pass at night.