Michigan business interests are asking the U.S. Coast Guard to open the port of Muskegon to river barge traffic.

The Michigan Agri-Business Association and local leaders have scheduled a news conference for Friday in Muskegon to discuss the proposal, which the group says would bring more opportunities for economic growth.

The Coast Guard allows barges and other commercial vessels to operate along set routes in some navigable waterways.

Interest recently has risen in bringing barge traffic commonly seen on the Mississippi River and its tributaries to Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard will be accepting public comment on the idea in coming weeks.

Photo Credit Port Of Muskegon