Weather Forecast


Lock 3 wraps up navigation season

The last tow came through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District this week, wrapping up the navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River.

The Motor Vessel Ginger Griffin New locked through Lock & Dam No. 2 near Hastings at about 4 a.m. Wednesday with two barges, according to the corps. The last tow heading south of Lock 2 traditionally marks the end of the navigation season for the St. Paul District, staff said.

Staff at Lock & Dam No. 3 near Red Wing confirmed the last tow came through there Wednesday morning as well.

This navigation season started April 9, when the Roberta Tabor broke through the ice at Lake Pepin, headed toward St. Paul.

“We successfully completed another navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River,” Bryan Peterson, St. Paul District locks and dams chief, said. “The staff at our 13 locks and dams did a great job ensuring that millions of tons of commodities and thousands of recreational craft were able to reach their destinations through our Inland Marine Transportation System.”

This also marked an important year for Lock & Dam 3, which wrapped up a $70 million project to improve safety and navigation.

The project took about three years, and the changes were unveiled at a ceremony this summer.

Work included a guide wall extension and a closure dike that reduces adverse currents, as well as channel dredging.

Navigation for 2013 ended about the same time as last year’s season. The Show Me State was the last tow of the 2012 season, locked through on Nov. 28, the corps said.

The Corps of Engineers will continue managing the river during the navigation closure.

By Dec. 2, all navigation tows will need to be south of Lock & Dam 8 near Genoa, Wis., because the corps will close that lock this winter to dewater it and perform facility infrastructure maintenance.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629