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Barge Backlog Could Tie Up Bridge

ROCK ISLAND, IL (AP) -- Officials are warning of major bridge backups over the next couple days in Quad Cities now that barges stranded by Mississippi River dredging are back on the move.   

The Government Bridge between Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, has already been hit with extra traffic this summer because nearby Centennial Bridge is closed for repairs.   

Now, the Quad-City Times reports drivers will face more backups as the span swings open to allow barge after barge to clear a lock.   

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Ron Fournier says tows typically have priority. He recommends drivers use alternatives like Interstates 74 and 80.   

Barges have been stuck upriver in Minnesota for three weeks because of dredging to clear silt and sand left by heavy rains. That work was finished Thursday.

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