Under the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to plan, design and construct certain types of water resource and ecosystem restoration projects without additional and specific congressional authorization. The purpose is to implement projects of limited scope and complexity. Each authority has specific guidelines and total program and per-project funding limits. Studies are cost-shared 50/50 during feasibility. Most projects are cost-shared 65 percent Federal and 35 percent non-Federal during implementation, unless otherwise noted.
The St. Paul District operates and maintains 13 locks and dams from Upper St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. Each lock and dam is a critical step in the "stairway of water" that makes navigation possible between Minneapolis and St. Louis, Missouri. These facilities are aging structures, with locks and dams 2 through 10 originally constructed in the 1930s. These sites include a dam bridge and varying numbers of dam gates. The moveable dam gates are one of the most critical system components because they control pool elevation for navigation, flood control and environmental purposes.
Granting licenses for private hydropower development at Federal facilities falls within the purview of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Private hydropower facilities currently in operation at St. Paul District sites include Xcel Energy at Upper St. Anthony Falls, SAF Hydropower at Lower St. Anthony Falls, Twin Cities Hydropower (Ford Hydropower) at Lock and Dam 1 and the city of Hastings Hydropower at Lock and Dam 2.
Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River on the South Dakota border. The dam is about 7 river miles upstream of Montevideo and 300 river miles upstream of Minneapolis. This equipment refurbishment is intended to replace nine sluice gates and operating equipment. Dewatering the upstream/downstream sides of the concrete control structure is required to facilitate the gate replacement.
The Minnesota River had been recognized as highly degraded and a significant sediment source filling Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River and delivering nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico. The Minnesota River Basin Reconnaissance Study, Section 905(b) Analysis recommended an “Integrated watershed, water quality management, and ecosystem restoration analysis, leading to the development of a basin scale watershed management plan” for the Minnesota River Basin. The purpose of this Minnesota River Basin Interagency Study (MRBI Study) was to implement that recommendation by engaging agency partners and using advanced hydrologic modeling and environmental benefit analysis. The intent was to understand water, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus transport across large landscapes to evaluate hydrologic, sediment and nutrient runoff response to historic, existing and probable future conditions.
Earthfill embankments are integral to each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10. The purpose of this project is to reestablish and armor degraded embankments to prevent further erosion and potential failure during high water events. The existing rock protection is well past its intended design life and does not perform satisfactorily. Wave action from high water causes continued widespread erosion.
Miter gates are integral to Mississippi River Locks and Dams, 2 through 10. Miter gates are comprised of two leaves that provide a closure at one end of a lock. Locks and Dams 2 through 10 have utilized the same miter gates since their inception. Over time, distress has been observed and has led to serviceability and safety issues. The purpose of this project is to restore the gates, increasing longevity and operational readiness, while decreasing repair costs and downtime due to maintenance of failure.
The tow rail 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 guidewall and helps guide tows through the lock chamber. Each system is comprised of an operating unit, rail and traveling kevel or “mule.” The Locks and Dams 2 through 10 tow rail systems have been deteriorating over the past several years, requiring rehabilitation of these systems.
The Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), seeks to provide a safe, reliable, cost effective and environment sustainable waterborne navigation system by implementing switchboats at five locks, constructing mooring cells and seven new 1,200 foot locks. NESP will restore the aquatic and terrestrial habitat to a more natural condition on more than 100,000 acres throughout the system through a wide variety of ecosystem projects.
The Pool 5 Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) study area is located between Lock and Dam 4 at Alma, Wisconsin, and Lock and Dam 5 near Minneiska, Minnesota, spanning nearly 15 river miles from 752.8 to 738.1. The purpose of the DMMP is to prepare a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Lower Pool 5 of the Upper Mississippi River for the purposes of continued operation and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project.
The Pool 6 Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) study area is located between Lock and Dam 5A at river mile 728.5 and Lock and Dam 6 at river mile 714.1. The purpose of the DMMP is to prepare a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Pool 6 of the Upper Mississippi River for the purposes of continued operation and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project.
The Tribal Partnership Program is authorized by Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The Tribal Partnership Program provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with Indian nations to study and determine the feasibility of carrying out projects that will substantially benefit Indian nations. Activity may address (A) projects for flood damage reduction, environmental restoration and protection and preservation of cultural and natural resources; (B) watershed assessments and planning activities; and (C) such other projects as the Corps, in cooperation with Indian tribes and the heads of other federal agencies, determines to be appropriate.
The St. Paul District is responsible for maintaining 244 miles of the Upper Mississippi River 9-foot channel navigation system from the head of navigation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. The project is located in or contiguous to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The navigation project within the St. Paul District includes 13 sets of locks and dams that are operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to the locks and dams the project includes channel maintenance, recreation and natural resource activities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District is responsible for maintaining 244 miles of the Upper Mississippi River 9-foot channel navigation system from the head of navigation at Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. The navigation system also includes the lower navigable portions of the Minnesota, St. Croix, and Black Rivers.
Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) is a long-term program of ecosystem restoration and navigation improvements for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). NESP will improve system capacity and reduce commercial traffic delays through construction of seven new 1,200-foot locks, mooring cells, and switchboat implementation.