2 Mississippi River locks reopen

Saturday, July 5, 2008 | 7:18 p.m. CDT; updated 2:00 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — The last of the Mississippi River navigation locks that were closed to barge traffic because of flooding have reopened.

Jennifer Godfrey with the Army Corps of Engineers’ emergency operations center in St. Louis said locks in Clarksville and Winfield have reopened. Flooding on the Mississippi had forced the corps to close the locks last month.

Godfrey said commercial traffic at the St. Louis port is limited to daytime hours.

A lock on the Kaskaskia River near Chester, Ill., was still closed Saturday. The Kaskaskia Lock is at the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers. It’s not clear when that lock will reopen.

The locks use huge electric motors to open and close gates and valves, floating barges up and down to different levels as they make their way up and down the river.

When the river floods, the corps removes the motors to protect them.

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