January 7, 2013 11:45 AM, EST
Mississippi River Navigable Through End of January, Army Corps Says

The Mississippi River, facing reduced levels due to drought, will be safe for barge traffic through the end of January as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes submerged rocks, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The Corps of Engineers is working to remove rocks from the Southern Illinois stretch of the river and said it expects the work will add two feet of depth by Friday, Bloomberg said.

A minimum depth of 9 feet is maintained by the Corps of Engineers to ensure barge traffic continues to flow.

The low level of the river has caused logistical problems for shippers, including a 28% decline of grain moved by barge for the week ended Dec. 29 from a year earlier, Bloomberg reported.