US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

Mississippi River projects, studies and information papers

Continuing Authorities Program: Beneficial Use of Dredge Material – Section 204, Pig's Eye Lake

Pigs Eye Lake is located in Ramsey County, just east of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Pigs Eye Lake is located in upper Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. Due to the lake’s close proximity to the Mississippi River, water level is controlled by the level of the river. The lake is located in the Mississippi River Bottomlands subwatershed.
Published: 2/26/2015

Continuing Authorities Program: Beneficial Use of Dredged Material, Section 204, Upper Pool 4 – Lake Pepin

Lake Pepin extends about 22 miles in length from the delta of the Chippewa River to approximately River Mile 787 which is about 3 miles downstream of Red Wing, Minnesota. Upper Lake Pepin consists of channel border islands and backwater lakes grading into an expansive, shallow open water area with little physical structure. Sedimentation and sediment resuspension have caused a loss in water depth diversity of the backwater lakes and isolated wetlands above Lake Pepin as well as a loss in aquatic vegetation.
Published: 9/16/2016

Dam Bridge & Gate Painting – Lower St. Anthony Falls through Lock and Dam 10

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.
Published: 2/26/2015

Disposition Study, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and Lock and Dam 1, Upper Mississippi

A Section 216 study will investigate the appropriate future disposition of Lower St. Anthony Falls (LSAF) Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1, located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The LSAF Lock and Dam was constructed as part of the Minneapolis Upper Harbor project in 1956 as authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937. Lock and Dam 1 was originally constructed in 1917 and was modified in 1932 under the authority of the River and Harbor Act of 1930. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the two sites. Both locks have been affected by the decrease in the demand for navigation services stemming from the closure of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam on June 9, 2015. This disposition study will examine the benefits and costs of continuing to operate LSAF and Lock and Dam 1.
Published: 3/22/2019

Disposition Study, Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam, Upper Mississippi River

A Section 216 study will investigate the appropriate future disposition of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, or USAF, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The USAF was constructed as part of the Minneapolis Upper Harbor project in 1963 as authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937. Congress closed USAF to navigation on June 9, 2015, under Section 2010 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to operate USAF for flood damage mitigation. The disposition study will examine the benefits and costs of continuing to operate USAF.
Published: 3/14/2016

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP): Lower Pool 4

The Lower Pool 4 Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) study area is located between Lock and Dam 4 and the foot of Lake Pepin, river miles 753.0 to 764.0. The purpose of the DMMP is to prepare, a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Lower Pool 4 of the Upper Mississippi River for the purposes of continued operation and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Navigation Channel Project.
Published: 3/15/2018

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP): Pool 2

The Pool 2 Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) study area is located between Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, MN and extends upstream to Lock and Dam 1, river miles 815.2 to 847.7. The purpose of the DMMP is to prepare a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Upper and Lower Pool 2 of the Upper Mississippi River for the purposes of continued operation and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project.
Published: 3/15/2018

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP): Pool 5

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.
Published: 3/15/2018

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP): Pool 6

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.
Published: 3/15/2018

Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP): Pool 9

The Pool 9 Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) study area is located between Lock and Dam 8 at Genoa, Wisconins, and Lock and Dam 9 near Lynxville, Wisconsin, spanning more than 31 river miles from 679.2 to 648.0. The purpose of the DMMP is to prepare, a coordinated long-term plan for managing dredged material in Pool 9 of the Upper Mississippi River for the purposes of continued operation and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project.
Published: 3/15/2018

Hydropower, Crown Hydro, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued license 11175 to Crown Hydro, LLC, in 1999 which granted it the exclusive rights to develop a hydropower facility in the Mill Ruins Park area on the Mississippi River near Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Crown Hydro Project was originally proposed to be located in the Crown Roller Building and then, later, on Minneapolis park land. Crown Hydro was unable to secure the needed real estate agreements with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. In 2013, Crown Hydro made a proposal to locate the project on Corps-managed Government land at Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. The total 3.4-megawatt estimated capacity would be enough to provide power to more than 2,300 households.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, FERC Licensing

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.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, Hastings, Lock and Dam 2

The city of Hastings, Minnesota, holds Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license 4306, which granted it the authority to design, construct and operate a hydropower facility on the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings. The licensed facility consists of a powerhouse, which is adjacent to the dam and contains two 2,200-kilowatt turbine/generators and a power distribution system. The total 4.4-megawatt estimated capacity is enough to provide power to 3,500 households.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, Northern States Power Company, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

Northern States Power Company (aka Xcel Energy) holds Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license number 2056, granting it the authority to operate the hydropower facility located at Upper St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, SAF Hydropower, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued license number 12451 on Feb. 21, 2006, granting the authority to SAF Hydropower, LLC, to construct and operate a hydropower facility on the Mississippi River at Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The hydropower project includes an 8.98-megawatt generating system composed of a 16-unit turbine matrix, a control building, a transmission line and ancillary facilities. The total capacity of the plant is enough to provide power to 6,200 households.
Published: 2/26/2015

Hydropower, Twin Cities Hydro, Lock and Dam 1

Twin Cities Hydro, LLC, holds Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license number 362, which allows it to operate the Ford Hydropower plant on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota. The hydropower facility consists of a powerhouse, four 5,800-horsepower Francis turbines and four 4,880-kilowatt generating units, a 2-foot-high inflatable flashboard system atop the concrete dam spillway and a power distribution system. The total capacity of the plant is 17.92 megawatts, or enough to provide power to 14,500 households.
Published: 2/26/2015

Level of Service Reduction at the Twin Cities Locks and Dams

Constrained funding and the Nation’s fiscal deficit have led to reduced operations and maintenance funding within the Corps Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS). When coupled with deteriorating infrastructure and increasing costs of operation, it became clear that the level of service the Corps has been providing at some locks and dams is not sustainable.
Published: 2/27/2015

Lower Pool 2 Channel Management Study

Pool 2 is the navigation pool created by the construction of Lock and Dam 2 at Hastings, Minnesota, at river mile 815.2. The pool is approximately 32.4 miles long and stretches upstream to Lock and Dam 1 in Minneapolis at river mile 847.6 (often referred to as the Ford Dam). Between river miles 818 and 820, the navigation channel switches from one bank of the river to the other and back again creating a near 90-degree bend in the river at mile 819.
Published: 2/27/2015

Mississippi River 9-Foot Project Channel Maintenance

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.
Published: 2/26/2015

Mississippi River 9-Foot Project, Locks and Dams

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.
Published: 2/27/2015

Mississippi River Headwaters Reservoirs

The Mississippi River Headwaters Project consists of six headwaters dams in north-central Minnesota. Cross Lake, Gull Lake, Big Sandy Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Pokegama Lake and Leech Lake make up the headwaters lakes system. They were constructed or reconstructed between 1900 and 1913 (work on Pokegama started in 1884 and Winnibigoshish in 1885) to aid navigation on the Mississippi River between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Published: 3/21/2019

Mississippi River Lock and Dam 1, Ambursen Dam Downstream Repair

Lock and Dam 1 is located on the Minneapolis side of the Mississippi River. The purpose of this project is to re-establish armor downstream of the concrete apron. The existing rock protection consists of grouted derrick stone. This stone bedding has broken up and washed downstream, exposing bedding material and risking failure of the wooden piles and sheet pile located underneath the existing concrete apron.
Published: 2/26/2015

Mississippi River Lock and Dam 5A Embankment and Levee Certification

The Lock and Dam 5A embankment is located along the Mississippi River about 3.5 river miles above Winona, Minnesota, and about 3 river miles below Fountain City, Wis. FEMA is verifying that all levees recognized as providing protection from the base flood meet the requirements outlined in 44 CFR 65.10. This code requires that specific structural requirements must be certified by a registered professional engineer or a federal agency with responsibility for levee design. The City of Winona is performing this certification for the flood risk management project with the Corps providing an analysis of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment in support of that certification.
Published: 10/1/2018

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Embankment Rehabilitation Adjacent to Structures

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.
Published: 2/26/2015

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Guidewall Crib Repairs

Guidewalls are integral to each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10. Guidewalls are long extensions of the lock walls, in either the upstream or downstream direction, that are parallel to the lock wall. These walls serve primarily to guide the long tows into the lock and to provide mooring facilities for tows too long to be accommodated in a single lockage. The guidewalls are constructed of multiple 35 to 40 feet length concrete monoliths with rock filled timber cribs beneath and behind them.
Published: 10/2/2015

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Guidewall End Cell

Guidewalls are integral to each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10. Guidewalls are long extensions of the lock walls, in either the upstream or downstream direction, that are parallel to the lock wall. These walls serve primarily to guide the long tows into the lock and to provide mooring facilities for tows too long to be accommodated in a single lockage.
Published: 3/16/2017

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Miter Gate Replacements

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.
Published: 9/25/2017

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Non-Structural Embankment Repair

Non-structural embankment repair projects at Locks and Dams 2 through 10 will address restoring embankments to meet current design standards. Most dam embankments are currently protected from the erosive forces of water by a layer of riprap placed along the embankment’s length. When the riprap eventually erodes, the embankment itself will erode if more protection is not added. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has designed and placed berms and small islands to assist in reducing wave action and wind fetch within pools created by the locks and dams. Reducing these forces increases the longevity of the embankment protections.
Published: 3/22/2019

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Tow Haulage System Repairs

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. The Lock and Dam 2 through 10 tow haulage system has been deteriorating over the past number of years. Two failures at Lock 7 identified the need for a project to address serviceability and safety issues.
Published: 3/14/2016

Mississippi River Locks and Dams 3–10 Sheet Pile Installation at Auxiliary Locks

Lock and Dams 3-10 have a partially completed auxiliary chamber with a single set of miter gates that may be used to pass shallow draft navigation traffic in the event the lock chamber was out of operation and the upstream and downstream pools were equalized. The Auxiliary Miter Gates are considered emergency gates originally intended to allow for limited navigation if the main lock became inoperable. Only one set of miter gates were installed. Since installation, the auxiliary emergency gates have never been used and the gate operating machinery was never installed.
Published: 9/12/2016

Mississippi River Recreation and Environmental Stewardship

The Mississippi River recreation and environmental stewardship functions are headquartered in La Crescent, Minnesota. The organization includes Blackhawk Park, a recreation area located 30 miles south of La Crescent with overnight camping, day-use areas and boat launching facilities. Operation and maintenance of three additional boat accesses at Bad Axe, Millstone and Jay’s Lake Landings are also administered by this organization.
Published: 2/27/2015

Planning Assistance to States (PAS): Mississippi River Water Level Management

In April 2017, the Upper Mississippi River Water Level Management Workshop facilitated discussion about interest and ability in achieving routine, systemic, large-scale water level management – i.e., what that would look like, associated challenges, and recommendations for partnership engagement and action.
Published: 3/15/2018

Pokegama Dam Slurry Trench Project, Grand Rapids, Minn.

Pokegama Dam was constructed in 1884. The main embankment was constructed with a pervious, rock and clay-filled timber structure core and covered with sandy material. In 1941, a sheetpile wall was installed upstream of the timber core to minimize unwanted seepage (flow) through the embankment. The existing sheetpile wall has been effective at controlling seepage, but its overall condition is currently in question. Without an effective seepage barrier, the water levels could rise throughout the embankment causing downstream slope instability, which would threaten the integrity of the dam.
Published: 3/16/2017

Silver and Bighead Carp, Upper Mississippi River

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the Federal lead on the Asian Carp issue. The Corps’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division is the Corps lead. The Corps' headquarters is developing an Asian Carp Emergency Response standard operating procedure under the authority of Section 1039 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act or WRRDA. of 2014 (P.L. 113--121) to prevent Asian carp from getting past the Brandon Road lock and dam on the Ohio River system. This plan is being developed in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. The plan includes rapid response protocols, monitoring, and other countermeasures. This will likely be extended to other river systems.
Published: 9/12/2016

Small-Boat Harbor Dredging, St. Paul, Minnesota

The St. Paul Small-Boat Harbor is on the lower end of Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minnesota, at Upper Mississippi River mile 839.6 on the right descending bank. The length of the harbor is 2,375 feet; the width varies from 200 to 400 feet. The Corps of Engineers is authorized to maintain the harbor to a depth of 5.0 feet below low control pool elevation of 687.2 feet mean sea level (msl). The city of St. Paul is the non-Federal sponsor for the project and is required to furnish a suitable placement site for the dredged material.
Published: 10/2/2015

St. Croix River Feasibility Study: Endangered Mussel Conservation

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Upper Mississippi River are a significant threat to the endangered Higgins eye pearlymussel (Lampsilis higginsii) and winged mapleleaf (Quadrula fragosa). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District and Engineer Research and Development Center are conducting a study in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Park Service; the Departments of Natural Resources from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa; and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Recommended management alternatives outside the Corps’ existing authorities would need to be implemented by others.
Published: 2/27/2015

Tribal Partnership Program

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.
Published: 9/25/2017

Tribal Partnership Program (TPP): Prairie Island

The Prairie Island Indian Community is located on Pool 3 of the Mississippi River about 12 miles southeast of Hastings, Minnesota. Lands owned by the tribe include islands within and surrounding Sturgeon Lake, a backwater lake on the western side of the navigation channel of the Mississippi River. During past work with the tribe, they have expressed an interest in working to protect islands and improve habitat there, especially at the upper end of Sturgeon Lake. One island in particular, bordering Buffalo Slough, has been eroding and could benefit from shoreline stabilization.
Published: 3/20/2018

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program includes studies and projects in the Upper Mississippi River system north of Cairo, Illinois. The system includes the Illinois River. This program, authorized by Congress in 1986, emphasizes habitat rehabilitation and enhancement projects and long-term resource monitoring. The habitat project component includes dredging backwater areas and channels, constructing dikes, creating and stabilizing islands and controlling side channel flows and water levels.
Published: 3/20/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Conway Lake

The Conway Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project is located in Pool 9 of the Upper Mississippi River, immediately upstream of Lansing, Iowa. Conway Lake is relatively shallow with abundant aquatic vegetation. Dissolved oxygen depletion is a problem in the lake in summer and in winter. During the winter, excessive water enters Phillipi Lake through openings that are eroding, creating unsuitable habitat conditions for overwintering backwater fish.
Published: 4/12/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Harpers Slough

Harpers Slough area is a 4,150-acre backwater area located primarily on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River in Pool 9, about 3 miles upstream of Lock and Dam 9. The project will protect five existing islands and construct an additional seven islands using material from the backwater and main channel. The project will slow the loss of existing islands, reduce the flow of sediment-laden water into the backwaters, reduce turbidity and increase the diversity of land and shoreline habitat.
Published: 4/12/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Lower Pool 10 Islands

Lower Pool 10 Islands restoration project is a side channel/island complex located on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River navigation channel in Pool 10, about 1 mile upstream from Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. The proposed project goals include protecting and restoring island complexes in this 1,000 acre area that would restore and enhance quality habitat for native and desirable species by reducing suspended solid concentrations and reducing wind fetch.
Published: 4/12/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: McGregor Lake

McGregor Lake is a 200-acre backwater lake in Pool 10 of the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The proposed project could include various features, such as dredging the lake, restoring or strengthening the barrier islands and constructing small islands within the lake to reduce wave action. It could also improve adjacent forest habitat.
Published: 4/12/2017

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Reno Bottoms

Much of the floodplain forest in the Reno Bottoms project area has been declining in coverage over the past several decades. Current Pool 9 water management and flow through the Lock and Dam 8 embankment have shifted the floodplain forest distribution to higher elevations than pre-impoundment conditions. Without active management, floodplain forest in the Reno Bottoms project area is likely to continue to degrade. The proposed project goals include protecting, maintaining and restoring floodplain hardwood forests to levels that are sustainable. The 14,000 acre Reno Bottoms area is located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Houston County, Minnesota and Allamakee County, Iowa and is in Pool 9 between river miles 671‒682.
Published: 3/22/2019

Upper St. Anthony Falls Tainter Gate Rehabilitation

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is part of the Inland Waterway Navigation System of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. 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.
Published: 3/14/2016