Mississippi River opens to southbound traffic

Published 11:58 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Coast Guard has reopened a stretch of the Mississippi River to southbound vessels several days after three barges sank amid high water and fast currents.

Petty Officer Stephen Lehmann said southbound traffic resumed Tuesday afternoon, a day after northbound vessels were allowed to travel upriver.

Traffic is being restricted in both directions, and southbound vessels can only pass through the area in daylight. Tows are limited to 20 barges.

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At least 27 vessels were waiting Tuesday to proceed southbound.

The barges that sank last week are owned by Archer Daniels Midland Co. and were part of a string of 20 barges headed downriver. One of the barges struck a dock. Two struck a bridge.