Sept. 25, 2015—A traffic jam of over 800 boats and barges has formed along a stretch of the Ohio River, as maintenance work ties up one of the busiest domestic shipping routes for grain, coal and other natural resources.
The delays started nearly a month ago after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partially closed a lock outside Brookport, Illinois that allows vessels to navigate a portion of the Ohio River near where it feeds into the Mississippi River. That created a bottleneck that by midday Wednesday totaled 72 tow boats and 757 barges, according to Martin Hettel, a senior manager with AEP River Operations, a large inland river vessel operator.
AEP had seven of its own tow boats waiting in the snarl, moving about 105 barges, mainly of grain. The lock is expected to fully reopen today.
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