The up-and-down Mississippi River is down again, and the Army Corps of Engineers is once again removing rock formations to try and ensure that the river remains open to barge traffic through the winter.

The corps said Tuesday that contractors will remove about 2,800 cubic yards of rock over the next several months from the middle Mississippi River.

It is an extension of work that began last winter when the middle Mississippi reached to near-record low levels after months of drought. Though barge loads were limited, the rock removal helped keep the river open to barge traffic.

A wet spring led to flooding, but a dry fall has the river low again. At Thebes, Ill., the river was at 7 feet on Tuesday — 26 feet below flood stage.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images