Corps Island Unloading project


Corps Island was endorsed for use as a dredged material placement site by the River Resources Forum in December 1995, as recommended in the 1995 Lower Pool 3 Reconnaissance Report prepared by the Corps of Engineers. The report recommends that channel maintenance material be placed on Corps Island until site capacity is reached – approximately 500,000 cubic yards – then transferred (unloaded) to an upland placement site.

Since 1995 Corps Island has been used to manage more than 1 million cubic yards of dredged material. To date, there have been 24 placement events and 2 major site unloads in 1998 and 2011.


In November 2017 the St. Paul District began to prepare contract plans and specifications for the third major site unload of Corps Island. It was anticipated that approximately 500,000 cubic yards of material would need to be unloaded. The contract was written to give the awarded contractors flexibility with how material could be removed from Corps Island, allowing mechanical, hydraulic or a combination of both.

The Corps of Engineers is currently establishing permanent placement sites via long-term Dredge Material Management Plans. However this work has not been completed in Pool 3, resulting in an immediate need to unload Corps Island. The contractor will be required to determine the final placement of the material, which could include upland placement and/or beneficial use of the material. The awarded contractor will be required to follow all local, county, state and federal laws regarding the placement of the material and hold public informational meetings. Time for this coordination has been built into the contract. 


Contract advertisement occurred in June 2018, and bid opening August 2018. The contract was awarded September 2018. Work is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2019 and be complete by December 2019. 


Economic impact

The estimated federal cost of this contact is more than $5 million. The continued use of Corps Island aids in approximately 650 million tons of commodities shipped annually on the 9-foot channel from St. Paul to the Gulf of Mexico.

Contact us

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Project Management
Minneapolis Locks Disposition
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101

Project location

The Corps Island dredged material placement site (transfer site) is located at approximate river mile 799.2 in Pool 3 of the Upper Mississippi River, near the community of Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin, and upstream of the City of Red Wing, Minnesota.