Mississippi River traffic is flowing again thanks to temporary repairs following an accident at a lock and dam near Granite City.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said a vessel struck the lock about 5 a.m. Tuesday at Lock and Dam 27 near Granite City. No one was injured in the accident, but damage to the lock and dam forced it to close, resulting in stopped traffic in both directions.
Nearly 100 barges were waiting to pass through the lock before it reopened early Wednesday.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Mike Petersen said permanent repairs will have to be made to the lock later. But operators initially thought the structure would be out of order for several days so they're glad to get in back into operation about 24 hours after the collision.
Tuesday's accident was the latest headache for the Army Corps at the lock, coming five months since a barge split open a protection cell -- a rock-filled steel cylinder that barges rub against to help align them for proper entry into the lock -- at the main lock. That spilled enough of the rock into the river to obstruct passage, closing that site for five days and stranding hundreds of barges.
Coast Guard and Army Corps officials estimated the September closure of the lock, through which 73 million tons of cargo typically pass each year, stood to cost the shipping industry $2 million to $3 million a day in lost revenue. The economic impact of the latest closure at the lock wasn't immediately clear.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.