In response to this thread
that I posted a few photos from a month or so I thought I
would bring ATS a firsthand account of what is going on in at least one part of the 180 miles that are putting the river at risk of closing.
From these links it states they will start rock removal from the river in hopes to keep barge traffic moving.
They plan to start removing rock from Grand Tower all the way to Thebes.
At Grand Tower is a very cool rock formation in the river known as Tower Rock.
I live near the river and have gone from above Grand Tower to Thebes in search of fossils. There is an amazing display of different rock age along the
river. I find fossils within the rock along the river and I find petrified wood that has washed down river along the banks.
Not only is the river a great place to find fossils but it is a very important mode of transport of products. Living in the river town I do the
closing of the river in this area could be a very bad thing. There are many factories in the area that chose it because of the large amount of choices
of transport and being in the central U.S. for the most part. Here they can use truck, train, barge, and even air to move product of different
When I heard they were going to be removing rocks I became worried about the destruction of scientific and historical finds. I still worry about some
things being destroyed but today I witness first hand some of the rock removal. At this point they are not blasting just using heavy equipment to move
rock from the bottom of the river.
Here are a few photos I took today. After posting a few photos I will post the link to the full album with 82 photos.
The first photos are from Cape Girardeau.
Here you can see two barges waiting as one moves past a sand bar that covers nearly half way across the river.
Here you can see the Coast Guard has put up a mobile command.
They are set up at the local boat ramp which is no longer of use.
At this point I an roughly half way out where the water of the river normally flows.
Here you can see just how close to the middle I am. While the middle is not the deepest point, you need to understand that this is supposed to be
covered with several feet of water here. If I could stand in the moving water of the river the water would likely be over my 5' 8" stance at this
This is facing north.
This is facing west toward where I walked from the boat ramp.
And this is facing south toward the bridge.
I will now take you to Thebes. The whiter rocks (kimmswick limestone) were under water just over a month ago. I forget the name of the formation of
the darker rocks, but I know it is just above the kimmswick.
This is the train bridge at Thebes. you can see where the water level normally runs on the blocks that hold up the bridge.
The rock removal has started around the Thebes area. They are removing the rock from several areas. Today they were working on over three areas at one
time. Here are a few photos of how they are doing it. What you see are tug boats moving what seems to be some sort of platform that has a backhoe on
In this image you can just see the operations just past the rock levee. I would have gotten closer but another group of people I met got ran off by a
man claiming that was his property. Which is odd since I have been there before looking for petrified wood since that is a natural catch for that sort
of thing and been seen by people and not ran off, but I was not in the mood to argue that at this point.
I was in the Thebes area for over 2 hours and this boat did not move at all during that time.
Just north of the Thebes train bridge they had a backhoe loading 18 wheelers with rock. I did not see any boats deliever rocks to this area during
that time, but I can only assume that some of this rock was coming from out in the river.
Here is that operation a bit closer and between trailer trucks.
Here is a quick shot of an area that should be under several feet of water.
This boat was moving a backhoe back down the river again. Earlier it had been closer to the camping area north of the train bridge. I believe it
stopped just south of the train bridge and started working near the one just south of the rain bridge in the earlier photo.
Here is a closer shot of that one.
Another shot as I walked north of rocks that should be under several feet of water.
Here are some good views of exatly what they are doing.