In the News

In 2021, about 500 million tons of waterborne cargo transited America's inland waterways, a volume equal to roughly 14% of all intercity freight.  These products, valued at over $158 billion, were shipped on the portions of our inland waterways system that generate revenue for capital improvements by a fuel user fee on commercial vessels.  


Much of that tonnage travels through some of the 219 locks at 176 sites on the inland waterways system.


But the lock and dam infrastructure keeping the system moving is aging - 80% of America's locks have exceeded their engineered design life.



$16 in annual net economic benefits to the nation are generated by the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Mission for every $1 expended.

(Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Drought lowers Mississippi River, limits how much barges can take downriver

September 20, 2023   PENN LIVE Patriot News

In this aerial photo, a tugboat pushing barges navigates around sandbars during low water levels on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge, La., and Reserve, La. in Livingston Parish, La., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)AP     DES MOINES, Iowa — A long stretch…

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USACE crews hard at work to keep the Mississippi River open

September 19, 2023   Dredging Today

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to play a key role in maintaining navigation on the nation’s major waterways.   According to the Corps, the St. Louis District dredging team, and everyone that supports them, works 24/7 to keep the Mississippi River open, allowing commerce to move.…

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Is shipping goods by barge good for the environment? (audio)

September 18, 2023   Marketplace

The Mississippi River is a transportation powerhouse — especially for agriculture. Roughly 60% of U.S. grain exports are transported down the river by barge, and plenty of soybeans are moved that way too. But hot weather and drought are making it harder to move crops and goods by barge…

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Midwest grain harvests loom. Will a low Mississippi River stall farmers’ deliveries again?

September 11, 2023   USA Today

ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER – In the wheelhouse high atop the rumbling, 240-foot boat, James Garner perched in a chair surrounded by levers, dials and screens. Below him, the Dredge Potter inched up a remote stretch of khaki-colored water between Missouri and Illinois.   Garner was controlling…

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Does the Mississippi River look low? Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. And it’s going to get worse.

September 8, 2023   The Times-Picayune

The already-low Mississippi River is set to reach levels so low by the end of the month that some decades-old records could be broken.   A report released Wednesday by the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center said there's been a lack of rain over the entire Mississippi River basin, which…

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Three Rivers, Arkansas Deepening Projects Begin (editorial)

September 4, 2023   The Waterways Journal

This year saw the beginning of two important projects that, although distinct, are closely related.   In June, the Tulsa and Little Rock Engineer Districts held public hearings to get feedback for the long-discussed and finally funded establishing of the 12-foot navigation channel along the 445-mile…

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Engineers to examine how well Old River structures keep Mississippi on the right track

September 4, 2023   The Advocate

North of New Roads and Morganza, a roughly 60-year-old collection of dams, channels, locks and guide levees has kept the Mississippi River from jumping its course and taking the steeper, more direct route down the Atchafalaya River.   With climate change promising to put the Old River Control Complex…

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