Strict rules for Barges on the river

By Alyssa Donovan

April 30, 2013 Updated Apr 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM CDT

Barges on the Illinois River are being held to some strict rules until the water recedes.

Towboats can only operate at the minimum safe speed from mile 88 near Beardstown, to mile181 near Chillicothe.

This means they can only go fast enough to stay under control and navigate the waterway.

Illinois Waterway operations manager Mike Zerbonia says areas are observed and assessed before they are opened to barge traffic.

He said, “We just go up there and observe and take pictures of towboats going by. See if there's any push out in front or behind the barge. See if it is impacting any of the houses we're parked at."

If you observe a barge not obeying these guidelines you can call the U.S. coast guard and report the name of the boat.

Full traffic speed will be restored when the river is at 22-feet.

Right now its at 26.

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