Ohio River Locks and Dam 52 Re-opens
Long line of barges waiting to transit
On Oct. 16, Ohio River Locks and Dam (L&D) 52 reopened after being closed for about a week due to high water conditions that stopped all traffic on the lower Ohio River. The closure caused a backlog of nearly 60 vessels with over 650 barges of all commodities waiting to transit the site.
As of Oct. 17, barge rates for export grain on the Ohio River increased 12% compared to the previous week due, in part, to a reduced availability of upbound empty barges. As of the week ending Oct. 14, the number of upbound empty barges that had transited L&D 52 was only 31, significantly lower than the previous week’s total of 141 upbound empties.
Overall, year-to-date tonnages on the locking sections of the Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkansas Rivers were 31.8 million tons, about the same as last year at this time, but 31% higher than the 5-year average.