Hinterland Green

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Barge Use Decline Spurs Questions on Best Use of Missouri River

Long-haul commercial barges on the Missouri River can be as hard to spot as the endangered pallid sturgeon. In 2002, the amount hauled dipped below 1 million tons and has failed to reach that level again. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated that barges hauled about 300,000 tons in 2007 and 350,000 tons in 2008. That compares to the Chain of Rocks Lock on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, where barges hauled 68 million tons in 2007.The corps blamed the lack of barge traffic on a long drought that had depleted reservoirs in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. » read more