Army Corps of Engineers will expand its project to the Mississippi River around Grand Tower, Ill.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) has announced that its rock removal efforts on the Mississippi River have been extended to include work around Grand Tower, Ill., about 31 miles north of Thebes, Ill.
Rock removal in Grand Tower will be performed by Newt Marine Inc., Dubuque, Iowa, one of two firms contracted by the USACE’s St. Louis District to perform rock removal in a six-mile stretch of the river near Thebes, Ill.
The work at Grand Tower began Jan. 29, and will clear about 64 cubic yards of rock from the navigation channel.
Nightly channel closures will be in effect from midnight until noon for roughly 10 days while the rock removal is being done.
The other contractor working on rock removal, Kokosing Construction of Frederickstown, Ohio, will remove additional rock formations in Thebes that were discovered under the sediment in the river. This is expected to extend the work in Thebes by about one week.
In a release, Col. Chris Hall, commander of the USACE’s St. Louis District, says, “The Grand Tower project will yield permanent improvements to the Mississippi. Rock removal, along with dredging and water management, is a critical component of the Corps’ efforts to maintain a resilient and reliable navigation channel.”
Removing the rock formations is one of many operations the Corps has initiated along the narrowing river to maintain a 9-foot-deep channel for river navigation. Dredging on the Middle Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., has been ongoing since early July 2012 to preserve the channel, as well as continued surveys and channel patrols by the Corps and Coast Guard to keep commerce safely moving on the middle Mississippi River.