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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Programs & Project Management
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul MN 55101

(651) 290-5755.


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Posted 3/14/2016

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Updated September 2018


The tow haulage system is integral to the operation of each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10.  It is attached to the top of the lock and dam guidewall and helps guide tows through the lock chamber.  Each system is comprised of an operating unit, rail and traveling kevel or mule.

The Lock and Dam 2 through 10 tow haulage systems have been deteriorating over the past several years.  Two failures at Lock 7 identified the need for a project to address serviceability and safety issues.  Repairs at Lock 7 were completed in 2014.  The purpose of this project is to make a permanent repair of the tow haulage system.  Repairing the system may be in conjunction of the lock and dam guidewall crib repair and completed during the non-navigation season. 



The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Inland Navigation Design Center provided guidance and recommended rehabilitating the original design and incorporating a continuous rail. The Corps designed the tow rail rehabilitation at Lock and Dam 6 in fiscal year 2018, and the Corps will award a construction contract in fall 2018. Award of a design-build contract for tow rail at Locks and Dams 4, 5, 5A, 7, 8 and 9 is planned for early fiscal year 2019 with design and construction of the tow rail to begin later in fiscal year 2019.


The Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project was authorized as part of the River and Harbor Act approved July 3, 1930.


Tow haulage design and construction at the locks and dams are completed with 100 percent federal funds. 

FY 2018:

Lock 6 Construction                                 $1,000,000

Fiscal year 2019 estimated costs:

Design-Build for Locks 4, 5, 5A, 7, 8 & 9       $20,000,000

infrastructure inland waterways lock and dam Mississippi River St. Paul District Tow Haulage System U.S. Army Corps of Engineers