The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday contractors had completed "Phase 1" rock removal on the Mississippi River at Grand Tower (river mile 79-80.2) and Thebes (river mile 41-46), Illinois.
The agency is prepared to conduct additional rock removal (Phase 2) as funding and river conditions permit.
The Corps said as of Feb. 27 the river depth was about 19 feet in the navigation channel. Based on the latest river stage at Thebes, water depth is about 20-feet deep in the navigation channel.
Debra Colbert, senior vice president of the Waterways Council, said navigation has improved as precipitation has increased, and is expected to improve through the spring.
But she said the barge industry is still concerned that low water conditions may occur next year and feels there's still a need for further rock removal. - Chris Dupin