American Currents

ACBL’s Daily River Conditions

Updated Friday, May 20th, 2022

Today’s Key Issues

  • Greenup Lock (OR 342) and Belleville Lock (OR 204) Main Chamber Closures – Starting 5/1 through 6/29, the Main Chamber at both locks will be closed for repairs. Auxiliary chamber will be available at both locks, but expect delays to transit and fleet shifting in the area during this closure. Currently seeing 37+ hrs delay due to the double-lockings in the auxiliary chamber at Belleville and 20+ hrs delay at Greenup. As of this morning, there were 17 tows at Belleville and 20 tows at Greenup.
  • Sunken Barge near Cape Girardeau (UM 49) – Sunday evening, 5/8, the channel was closed at UM 49 due to a sinking barge in the channel. Traffic began to resume Monday 5/9. Tow size is restricted to 30 barges max NBD and SBD is dependent on horsepower class (8K and above can shove 25, 8K and below restricted to 20). Larger tows are transiting during daylight hours only. Salvage operations have commenced and may take as long as three weeks to complete. All eyes are on the river stage, as if the river falls out as predicted we could lose additional tow size this coming weekend.
  • Flood Action Stage on the Lower Miss and Gulf
    • Lower Miss has been in Flood Action Restrictions since early Feb. Tow sizes remain cut-back by 12-16% and vessels stopping SBD overnight at Vicksburg and Memphis on a boat-by-boat basis.
    • Baton Rouge gauge reached 30′ on March 5th and as such tows continue to be restricted to tow-size and HP requirements per USCG flood regulations. River remains over 30′ and is on a slow rise, expecting to crest May 22nd at 32.4′. We are not expected to exceed 35′, which would enact further restrictions.
    • New Orleans gauge reached 12′ on April 22nd, enacting fleet surcharges and USCG Flood restrictions in the Gulf. As of May 4th, we are below 12′ and out of flood action regulations, but the river is expected to rise and could reach 12′ again late May.
    • Industry will be closely watching the forecasted precip on the Northern Rivers. We expect restrictions to alleviate headed into June, but additional precip may extend the length of this event.
  • Arkansas River Flood Restrictions – Transit remains slowed on a majority of the Arkansas river system due to high flows and elevated river levels. Expect these conditions to last into late May pending further precip. This will impact barges transiting to/from the river and increase interchange time in Rosedale.
  • Lower Miss Revetment and Bank Securing (LM 807) – Starting 05/10, Tuesday, USACE expecting a 30 day revetment project on the Lower Miss. Expect this project to have daytime closures for southbound traffic from 06:00 – 18:00. Southbound traffic to check in at Hickman Point (824 LMR) and Northbound Vessels @ Island 26 (800 LMR). The Kacie Luhr will be the onsite contact vessel and will standby on VHF 13 or 72, or phone 573-803-7931. The M/V Kacie Luhr will maintain and manage the queue throughout the duration of this project. USACE and Industry will be discussing dates, queue procedures, etc. Too little is confirmed to outline the transit impact at this time.
  • Bayou Sorrel Daytime Closures (PA 37) – Since March 17, Bayou Sorrel has been scheduled to close 06:30 – 17:00 daily for repairs. Projected to last till Feb 28th, 2023. Since mid-April, repairs have stopped due to near flood conditions, but the Bayou Sorrel bridge is driving delays due to a daytime restricted opening schedule as a result of the high flows. Current delays are at 10 hrs and there were 7 tows waiting as of this morning.
  • Calcasieu Lock Closure (WC 239) – Daylight Closures 0700 – 1800 Mon – Thurs March 22nd through August 25th. Expect 12-24 hrs delay and potentially more pending ability to clear the backlog daily.
  • Brazzos Floodgates (WC 401) – Daylight Closures 0700 – 1700 Mon – Fri through July 1st. Expect 24-36 hrs delay.
  • Industry Manpower Issues – The Inland Maritime Industry continues seeing major shortages of manpower. This is directly impacting the ability to crew towboats. As a result, expect 1-2 day delays in boat timings throughout the system, increasing overall barge transits in kind. ACBL has taken measures to increase our workforce throughout the system. The safety of our Mariners is our highest operating priority. Accordingly, ACBL has implemented measures and training programs to keep all of our team members safe.

River Closure & Restricted Movements


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