St. Louis Public Radio News
6:13 pm
Tue October 13, 2009

Broken Mississippi River lock closes river at Clarksville

St. Louis, MO – Barge traffic on the Mississippi River is at a standstill at Clarksville, Missouri, because of a broken lock and dam.

Machinery at Lock 24 failed early today with a tow boat headed north on the Mississippi still in the lock chamber.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Alan Dooley says that the boat, along with its six barges, has since been released from the chamber. But the lock will likely be shut down until Thursday afternoon.

"We're going to have to replace some broken parts. Those parts are on hand at the Mel Price lock and dam. We have a tow boat and a large crane that are picking those parts up and will be en route up to Lock 24 in Clarksville, Missouri. They'll go to work immediately."

In the meantime, traffic is effectively shut down at Clarksville in both directions, just as agricultural commodities are entering the fall market.