A barge accident Friday has shuttered a key lock and dam on the Illinois River, keeping thousands of tons of agricultural cargo from passing through, likely into the weekend.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman for the Rock Island District Ron Fournier said the closure of the LaGrange Lock and Dam was due to damage sustained when a tow struck an upper miter gate.
Fournier says the necessary gate repairs will likely extend over the weekend and into Monday.
As of Friday afternoon, 18 tows were waiting in the queue – eight headed up and 10 going down. Fournier wasn't able to estimate how many tows were carrying agricultural goods, though he did say that 391 thousand tons of cargo have already moved through LaGrange since the beginning of the year. Of that, 79.5 thousand tons were grain products, he said.
LaGrange is the final lock on the Illinois River, nearly eight miles south of Beardstown, Ill., and 80 miles above the convergence of the Illinois River and the Mississippi River at Grafton, Ill.