The frigid temps have frozen a large portion of the Illinois River running through Central Illinois.
The river is going to be condensed into one lane of traffic this week due to inclement weather hitting Central Illinois. Rake barges are going to be extremely important in the coming days, that’s because the front ends are slanted at a fourty-five degree angle and can maneuver through the ice.
“They put the rakes on the front of the tow, that way they can cut through the ice better. Also when they make the lockage, because if the tow is larger than 600 feet they have to break the tow apart and put it back together. They’ll call it a break cupling, and they’ll put the two rakes together so there’s room for the ice,” said Marine Inspector Alan Guedesse.
The tows and barges are still working even in these frigid temps, and they’re going to continue to Wednesday and Thursday when we reach record-breaking low temperatures.