Thursday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began closing the first of nine locks on the Mississippi River due to rising flood waters. The first will be Lock 16 in Illinois City, Ill. The final closure is scheduled for June 17 at Lock 25 in Winfield, Mo. All the locks are above St. Louis, Mo., the confluence of where the Missouri and Illinois rivers flow into the Mississippi River, which also are flowing at high levels. Over 216 miles of the Mississippi River will become non-navigable to commercial river traffic once the closures are complete. The Army Corp reported that 68 million tonnes of farm goods traveled on the Mississippi River to export terminals at the Gulf in 2006. Closures are expected for at least 10 days, but could go into the beginning of July depending on future rainfall amounts.
The Corps has scheduled the closure of these locks on the following dates.
• June 12: Lock 16 (Illinois City, Ill. - River Mile 457.2), Lock 17 (New Boston, Ill. - River Mile 437.1), and Lock 18 (Gladstone, Ill. - River Mile 410.5)
• June 13: Lock 20 (Canton, Mo. - River Mile 343.2)
• June 14: Lock 19 (Keokuk, Iowa - River Mile 364.2), Lock 21 (Quincy, Ill. - River Mile 324.9), and Lock 22 (Saverton, Mo. - River Mile 301.2)
• June 16: Lock 24 (Clarksville, Mo. - River Mile 273.5)
• June 17: Lock 25 (Winfield, Mo. - River Mile 241.3)