Monthly Archives: August 2011

Crumbling Allegheny River Locks

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls for lock and dam funding.

“When a flange broke on a hydraulic system at deteriorating Lock 6 on the Allegheny River in Armstrong County last week, the corps couldn’t just traipse on down to Home Depot — it had to fabricate a replacement part, causing the lock to be closed all weekend. The corps expects to have the lock in service by Friday, in time for holiday boat traffic, spokesman Jeff Hawk said Monday. ‘You can’t pull these things off the shelf,’ he said of the needed part. ‘These are 80-year-old Depression-era locks.’ ”


Great Lakes States Lose Again On Carp Appeal

Once again, the five Great Lakes states have lost on appeal in their attempt to force ecological separation between the Mississippi River watershed and the Great Lakes. Here’s the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit in Chicago, which came down August 24. the three-judge panel was unanimous that the states were not entitled to injunctive relief, since the Corps of Engineers is already mounting a “full-scale” effort to stop Asian carp. The panel did, however, leave the door slightly open for possible future relief.

From the talk of the attorneys general, we can probably expect this to be appealed to the Supreme Court–where the states have also lost once already.

Can COB Revive England’s Canals?

Can container-on-barge revive use of  England’s neglected canal system, including the Manchester Canal, once a prime artery of commerce but now practically disused?

As evidence that England’s (and Scotland’s!) waterways can still do the job, check out this story about the movement down the Clyde River of a massive battleship section–welded to the deck of a barge for the journey to its assembly point.

Alter To Sell Assets To Marquette, Cargill

Alter Barge Lines’ chairman and chief executive officer, Jeff Goldstein, released this statement today:

Alter Barge Line, Inc., (Alter) of Bettendorf, Iowa, announced today that it has entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) to sell its inland river towboats and barges to the Cargo Carriers business of Cargill, Incorporated, (Cargill) of Wayzata, Minn., and Marquette Transportation Company, LLC (Marquette) of Paducah, Ky. The sale will also include the assets of Alter’s Blackhawk Fleet in Buffalo, Iowa and Azalea Fleet in New Orleans, La.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cargill and Marquette will acquire Alter’s 387 river barges and six towboats.

Completion of the sale is anticipated to occur by Sept. 30, 2011.  Alter will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course until the sale is completed.”