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Barges Backing Up As Corps Dredges Mississippi River Channel With Drought-Main Street, Bjt

July 5, 1988

Undated (AP) _ Lower Mississippi River towboat traffic halted Monday as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredges worked to finish deepening the channel near Greenville, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn.

The channel was closed Monday night at Tamm Bend, north of Memphis, after operators of the dredge Burgess became worried that a barge would run into them, Coast Guard spokesman Dave Schuster said.

The Burgess began digging Sunday and may be finished in time to reopen the channel by Tuesday morning, Schuster said.

Once the Greenville work is finished, officials plan to move the dredge there to another location.

″Traffic is stopped while we’ve got the dredge in there,″ Louis Logue of the corps’ Vicksburg, Miss., office said Monday night.

About 20 southbound and 20 northbound towboats were waiting near the Greenville-Arkansas bridge as the dredge Jadwin worked to cut a 15-foot-deep channel in an area where the depth had dropped to seven feet, he said.

Dredging near Greenville, which began Sunday afternoon, was to be completed by early Tuesday morning, Logue said, and the Jadwin would move either to an area 30 miles south of Greenville or 30 miles south of Natchez, Miss.

The river near Greenville was dredged two weeks ago after the channel became too shallow for barge traffic, keeping as many as 1,800 barges waiting for the waterway to reopen.

Logue said a decision on where to move the Jadwin would be made after an inspection of the river below Greenville.

Another dredge was being used to clear the channel near Natchez, Logue said, but it would take up to five days to clear the area.

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