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, Wisconsin. Its entire footprint lies within the state of Minnesota.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for operation and maintenance of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment as part of the Lock and Dam 5A project, which Congress authorized for the purposes of navigation, flood protection, and recreation.
The Winona, Minnesota, Flood Risk Management Project (FRMP) was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1958, of which the Lock and Dam 5A embankment was used as part of the line of protection. The city of Winona owns and operates the levee portion that makes up the other portion of the FRMP.
The Lock and Dam 5A embankment is approximately 15,500 feet long from its high ground tie-in point at Minnesota City, Minnesota, to the southern tie-in with the FRMP. The embankment’s height has a range between 12 and 22 feet and a top width of 28 feet.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (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 (such as the Corps). The city of Winona is performing this certification for the FRMP with the Corps providing an analysis of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment in support of that certification.
In fiscal years 2016 and 2017, the Corps used operations and maintenance funding to prepare a report of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment. The preliminary evaluation identified a potential seepage problem. The Corps obtained additional geotechnical information and performed additional risk analysis.
In fiscal year 2018, the Corps continued communication and coordination with FEMA and the city of Winona to determine if the embankment can be certified per FEMA’s requirements.
In fiscal year 2019, the Corps will be completing a Risk Assessment on the entire system. This is a pilot project assessment with a Partnership Agreement cost share of 50/50. The total project risk assessment is $500,000.
Congress authorized the project as part of the Rivers and Harbors Act on July 3, 1930. The act authorized the construction, repair and preservation of public works on river and harbors and for other purposes.
Congress funds operation and maintenance of the project annually under the Corps’ Civil Works Operation and Maintenance appropriation. Mississippi River funding allocated to the St. Paul District in recent fiscal years has ranged from $50 million to $60 million annually.