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Study: Mississippi River shutdown would cost millions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A recent study by Wisconsin researchers suggests that the failure of any of the 25 aging locks on the upper Mississippi River could result in nearly half a million truckloads of freight on highways between Minnesota and Missouri.

The study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimates that a shutdown of the river at Hannibal, Missouri, would require trucks to move over 12 million tons of grain during a nine-month shipping season, costing millions of dollars and damaging roads.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that most of the shipments would travel through southern Minnesota and Iowa, and a smaller number would move through Wisconsin and Illinois, causing nearly $29 million in pavement damage.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the backlogged maintenance costs for locks and dams of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers totals to over $1 billion.

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