First barge of season moving up Mississippi River
At long last the first river barge of the 2007 shipping season is moving up the Mississippi River.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul the MV Coral Dawn operated by the American River Transportation Co., based in St. Louis will be the first tow and barge to head into St. Paul.
The MV Coral Dawn passed through Lock and Dam 10 early Tuesday morning and company officials expect it to pass by Red Wing, Minn., sometime Thursday and arrive in St. Paul late Thursday or early Friday.
Weather conditions and river currents will affect the barge's progress.
The tow is pushing 12 barges loaded with nitrogen fertilizer, according to officials with Upper River Transport in St. Paul.
This year's shipping season is off to a late start because of the closing of Locks and Dams 2, 4, 9 and 10. The facilities were closed for maintenance and repair work according to the Corps of Engineers.
Behind the MV Coral Dawn on the Mississippi River is the MV Reggie G which is owned by the Alter Barge Line Inc. of Bettendorf, Iowa.
The average opening date of the navigation season for the last 30 years has been March 20.
In 2006 the Reggie G was the first tow and barge up the river and it arrived in St. Paul on March 22.