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Web Extra: 5 Things to Know about the Motor Vessel Mississippi

The largest towboat ever built in the United States rolls down the Arkansas River.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Motor Vessel Mississippi steams into town on the Arkansas River today.

This workhorse for the Army Corps of Engineers has been traveling the river for two days as part of an inspection.

The last chance to get a good look at it is Thursday morning between 6 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. at Riverfront Park in North Little Rock.

Here are five things to know about the largest towboat ever built in the United States:
  • It measures 241-feet-long.
  • The first Motor Vessel Mississippi was a steamer built for the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) in St. Louis in 1882.
  • Today’s Motor Vessel Mississippi is the fifth U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' vessel to bear that proud name.  
  • All of the Mississippi’s have been intimately associated with the protection and development of the Lower Mississippi Valley. They have seen the valley change from a largely undeveloped and flood-ravaged wilderness to one of the world’s leading agricultural and industrial areas.
  • The current Motor Vessel Mississippi, like her predecessors, serves as an inspection vessel for the MRC and working towboat during the revetment season. Each spring, during traditional high water, and late summer, during traditional lower water, the Commission conducts a series of public meetings aboard the vessel at various river communities. These gatherings enable local interests and the public to bring their views and concerns before the MRC and engage in dialogues with its members.

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