River traffic on the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, a vital waterway for moving billions of dollars worth of commodities, was halted late on Wednesday after a highway bridge collapsed in Minneapolis.
At least six people were killed and dozens injured when the 40-year-old bridge packed with vehicles in rush-hour traffic buckled and collapsed into the Mississippi River.
A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard in St. Louis said 5 miles (8 km) of the river on either side of the collapsed bridge had been shut to river traffic.
Barges laden with thousands of bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat ply the entire length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana, transporting the grains from production centers to export terminals at the Gulf Coast.
The flow of corn and soybeans this time of year is relatively slow as the crops will not be harvested until September, while supplies held over from last year run low.