MDC reopens Truman Access on the Mississippi River in Jefferson County

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CRYSTAL CITY, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has reopened Truman Access on the Mississippi River in Jefferson County.  The access is available again for public use.

Truman Access provides river access for boating and fishing, and a walk-in entry to adjoining Harlow Island, which is part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service- Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge.

In the past Truman Access has been highly impacted from flooding.  Flood events over the last several years have continually disrupted MDC’s attempts to regrade and re-rock the access and parking lot by causing damage and depositing excess sediments.  MDC work crews utilized the deposits themselves to create a solution to the problem.

To build up Truman Access and the road leading up to it, MDC closed the access in November of last year to allow sediment and silt to build up over multiple flood events.  MDC construction crews were able to use the accumulated deposits as building material to shore up the access. MDC has employed this technique successfully in similar situations elsewhere in the state.

“After the long closure of Truman Access, we have reopened the gates,” said MDC Interim Infrastructure Maintenance Supervisor Tim Schuette. 

Schuette explained that work crews utilized the river silt to raise sections of the road and parking lot two-to-four feet.  The silt was bulldozed into place and graded.  MDC crews covered those areas with an additional foot of rock base. 

“With the combination of raising the road and parking lot and replacing a couple of culvert pipes that where silted in, drainage will be much better,” Schuette said.  “I believe we have the road and parking lot at an elevation where excessive silt deposits should not form during a typical high water event as they’ve done in the past.”

Users should note that high water events may still require occasional short-term closure of the access should the parking lot become flooded.  With the completion of this project however, these events should be less frequent and have less impact.

Truman Access is open every day from 4 a.m.-10 p.m.  To reach the access from Crystal City, take Highway 61 south 6.8 miles, then make a left at Route AA and go east two tenths of a mile.  At Big Hollow Road, turn right and proceed south six tenths of a mile. Then go left to stay on Big Hollow Road for 1.9 miles. Continue across the railroad tracks to the river and access, which is adjacent to the Rush Island Power Plant.

For more information or future updates on Truman Access, visit MDC’s online atlas at