US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website


Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2–10 Guidewall End Cell

Published March 16, 2017
Updated: Sept. 19, 2019

Guidewalls are long extensions of the lock walls, in either the upstream or downstream direction, that are parallel to the lock wall. At each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10, guidewalls 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.

In 2011, a tow pilot reported movement of a light pole at the end of the lower guidewall at Lock and Dam 6. Upon inspection, a crack was found on the landside of the end monolith along with missing rocks in the cribs. A navigation notice was put into effect to prevent tows from using the guidewall for leverage.

The purpose of this project is to extend the longevity of the lower guidewall at Lock and Dam 6 and to reduce operability issues and required maintenance. The end cell will provide adequate protection of the end monolith along the lower guidewall, while the existing crib grouting component will add stability. Construction will be performed during winter freeze and will not impact navigation.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed design for Lock and Dam 6 in fiscal year 2017 and awarded a construction contract to LS Black on February 8, 2018 for $3.1 million. Due to high water over this past spring and summer, construction has been delayed until conditions are safe. Construction is scheduled for completion by winter 2019.


Congress authorized the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project as part of the Rivers and Harbors Act approved July 3, 1930.


Guidewall end cell design and construction at the locks and dams is completed with 100 percent federal funds.

Fiscal year 2019:

Lock and Dam 6 construction contract   $3,100,000
Lock and Dam supervision                           $200,000