GRANITE CITY, IL (KTVI) – There is good news at one of the busiest lock and dams along the Mississippi River in Granite City. Lock and Dam 27 is reopen again after it was closed early Tuesday morning when it was hit by a barge.
There was concern when the lock and dam had to shut down around 5am yesterday morning that the closure would last at least a couple of days. That could have had a major impact on river traffic.
But instead, the closure only lasted less than a day. Coast guard officials tell me repair crews from the corps of engineers were able to fix the problem much faster than they originally anticipated.
The Coast Guard says crews came up with a temporary fix to the gate area that allowed the lock and dam to reopen about 8pm last night. Authorities say the closure happened after a barge basically hit a lock gate damaging a chain and a seal.
During the shutdown, there were at least 16 vessels and 87 barges waiting to get through.
This was second time in recent months that Lock and Dam 27 had been shut down.
Last September it was closed for five days after a barge hit what`s called a protection cell along the lock and dam.
The closure then cost millions in lost revenue. The coast guard says there will be another closure for a short period of time coming up at some point so crews can make more permanent repairs.
When exactly that will happen is still unclear. Apparently, the chain is pretty much fixed but more work still needs to be done on the seal that was damaged.