ST. PAUL — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released the 2016 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River on Wednesday.
The 2016 navigation season was a year of major change for the three Minneapolis locks — both the Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and Lock & Dam 1, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
The season was the first full year with no navigation at the upper lock following its closure June 10, 2015. The lock was closed due to the passage of the Water Resources Reform Development Act in 2014.
Lock & Dam 3, near Red Wing, was slightly above the 10-year average for combined lockages. The staff there supported 4,943 lockages in 2016 compared to 4,594 in 2015. The average is 4,498, the Corps said.
There were 2,123 commercial navigation lockages at Lock 3 in 2016. The lockages supported 10,127,388 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. This is the highest amount since 2002 and nearly 3 million tons more than last year. During the 2015 season, Corps staff supported 1,454 commercial lockages and the movement of 7,388,270 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 7,602 recreation vessels during 2,801 recreational lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps said it tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 19 lockages from various government agencies.