Ice delays shipping on the Mississippi River - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Ice delays shipping on the Mississippi River

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LACROSSE (WKOW) -- The long winter is now backing-up spring barge traffic on the Mississippi River.

There's still too much ice in the upper Midwest and barges are only getting up as far as Dubuque right now.

The ice was still about 25 inches thick when it was measured two weeks ago at lake Pepin.

In fact, people are still ice fishing there.

The ice is 15 inches thick at the Port of La Crosse, but one marine company sent out a boat to break it up to accelerate melting.

"We get the wheels turning on the boat and we can bust through the ice typically we don't like to because its very hard on the equipment," said Adam Binsfield, Operations Manager, Brennan Marine.

Personal boats are being allowed through the Mississippi River locks, but no commercial barges.

Officials expect it to take at least another week before commercial traffic is open north of La Crosse.

The shipping manager says the delay should not be a problem for consumers, as long as it's no longer than a week or two.

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