BARGE TRAFFIC FACES LOW WATER LEVELS
CHICAGO — Sinking water levels threaten to slow barge traffic on the Mississippi River, but the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers are determined to keep the artery open. Size restrictions have been applied to barges to ensure safe passage, and further restrictions are likely. The Corps of Engineers blames low rainfall in the northern Great Plains for this year's problems. The river is critical to farmers, who ship produce by barge to the Gulf of Mexico.