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St. Paul District
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St. Paul MN 55101

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Posted 3/14/2016

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Updated September 2017


Description
The Upper St. Anthony Falls (USAF) Lock and Dam is part of the Inland Waterway Navigation System of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. While the lock was originally authorized for navigation, Section 2010 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014) directed the Secretary of the Army to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock to navigation traffic. The lock was closed June 10, 2015.

A Tainter gate was installed at the upstream end of the USAF lock chamber. The Tainter gate provides redundancy for the upstream miter gates and, importantly, it also allows flows to be passed through the lock chamber during flood events. WRRDA 2014 explicitly states that the project is still authorized to conduct emergency lock operations necessary to mitigate flood damage.

Background
The Tainter gate’s electrical control system has not been upgraded for many decades.

Attempts to operate the gate have failed on various occasions and reliability is a concern. There is also question over the condition of the system’s hydraulics because the ram cylinder rooms and operating machinery rooms are constantly wet. The lower parts of the cylinders and hydraulic piping are usually underwater.

Purpose
The purpose of the rehabilitation of Upper St. Anthony Falls Tainter gate is to replace the existing operating equipment with a system that is reliable, easy to use and resistant to damage from water infiltration in the galleries.

Status

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Tainter gate rehabilitation project was initiated in fiscal year 2016.  Proposals for the construction contract were received in July 2017 and are being evaluated.  Funding for the project has been received.

Authority
The Mississippi River 9-foot channel was authorized as part of the Rivers and Harbors Act, approved July 3, 1930. 

Construction of the locks at Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937, which approved extension of the 9-foot channel to the Minneapolis upper harbor.

Fiscal

Estimated total project cost $4.7 million

flood risk management flood risk reduction Mississippi River St. Paul District Tainter gate rehabilitation U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam USAF