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Mississippi River Should be Completely Reopened Today

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The barges hit the Poplar Street Bridge (KWMU photo)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Coast Guard says it will reopen the Mississippi River near the Arch this morning (Tuesday) to southbound traffic. Last night, it re-opened the river to northbound traffic.

The river was closed for a two-mile stretch after a grain barge broke loose from a tow Sunday night, hit the Poplar Street Bridge, and sank.

The barge was among 15 that broke away from the J. Andrew Eckstein and floated uncontrollably down the river.

The Coast Guard says an undetermined number of the barges hit the Poplar Street Bridge. Other towboats scrambled to round up the remaining 14 barges.

Missouri state highway officials inspected the bridge after the accident and deemed it structural sound.

The barge sank 200 feet north of the MacArthur Bridge (the bridge just south of the Poplar Street). A salvage company is expected to retrieve it early Wednesday.

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