barge shipping

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Mayors from 19 cities and towns are in St. Louis this week to launch a new initiative aimed at bringing greater attention to issues affecting the Mississippi River.

A total of 41 mayors, so far, have formally agreed to the partnership, which is set to begin lobbying congress in March of next year.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said mutual interests trump party politics.

National Weather Service

*This story will be updated 

*Updated Sunday at 2:45 p.m. with details river levels and drought relief 

Large parts of rural Missouri and Illinois had between three to five inches of rainfall this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

In St. Louis, Nation Weather Service Meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said Oakville received three and a half inches of rain, the most in the metropolitan area. 

Gosselin added, though, that it will take much more rain to snap this summer’s historic drought.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his administration is keeping tabs on river levels along the Missouri and Mississippi as drought conditions persist across the state.  He indicates that the Missouri River may be in worse shape.

“I think that the challenges on the Missouri are a little more significant than the Mississippi," Nixon said at a gathering Wednesday in Jefferson City.  "Minnesota has had a fair amount of rain in that part of the country, but we’re watching those issues very carefully.”

There's more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis. Not great for a region that's in the midst of the worst drought in decades. Now, we've heard about the effect the drought is having on on farmers -- but it turns out it's also shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River. Our own Adam Allington reports for Marketplace Morning Report this morning. See more via the link.

The Drought is starting to severely impact shipping along the Mississippi River as water levels continue to drop.

The region’s shipping companies have had to lighten their loads to keep from running aground and that’s starting to cut into their bottom lines.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Some Mississippi River tugboats will be getting an upgrade thanks to a federal grant aimed at reducing air pollution.

The more than $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will go toward new, cleaner-burning diesel engines for the tugboats.

One of those boats was on view this morning at JB Marine Service, Inc., the barge cleaning and repair company that received the EPA grant.

State transport panel hears from St. Louis metro region

May 14, 2012
(Missouri Dept. of Transportation/via Flickr)

Missouri state and local officials are looking for ways to maintain the state’s transportation infrastructure during a climate of limited funds.

The so-called "Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri Transportation Needs" met in Chesterfield and will hold similar meetings around the state this spring and summer. 

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the agency has roughly half the money to spend that it did just several years ago.

(Flickr creative commons user HAM guy)

If you heard that a barge hit the Martin Luther King bridge, it's true, but don't worry about adjusting your commute to avoid this part of the mighty Mississippi.

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