Bi-partisan effort by Congressman Schock leads Corps to re-examine Missouri River plan

By WEEK Producer

Bi-partisan effort by Congressman Schock leads Corps to re-examine Missouri River plan

December 4, 2012 Updated Dec 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Congressman Aaron Shock says efforts continue to avoid an economic catastrophe along the Illinois River.

Each December, the Army Corps of Engineers limits the amount of water released from the Missouri River, water that flows into the Mississippi.

But because of the drought, Schock says that should not be the plan this year.

He says the Corps estimates barge traffic would not be able to continue along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers at the beginning of January if the plan is followed.

Schock says a bi-partisan letter led the Corps to agree to two things. One is removing rock pinnacles in the river two months earlier than planned.

"Rock pinnacles are what you think of as mini mountains in a river," he said. "Basically the rock formations in the river, when there's low water, prohibit barge traffic from going up and down the river. They need to be removed so in a low tide or water situation rather, the barges can continue."

The Corps also agreed to revisit its plan to stop water flow from the Missouri River.

Schock hopes to know a decision by mid-month.

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