CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Mississippi River was closed to vessel traffic after cracks were found in a gate at the Melvin Price Lock and Dam just north of St. Louis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Thursday.
Nine northbound and six southbound barge tows were halted due to the closure, Army Corps public affairs officer Amanda Kruse said, adding that the cracks were found during a routine lock inspection on Wednesday.
"We noted some damage, which was basically cracks in the gate," Kruse said. "We're working on figuring out what the damages are and what the repairs need to be."
She said the cracks likely were unrelated to a barge collision that temporarily closed the lock about a month ago.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Dan Grebler)