US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website Website

Mississippi River Lock and Dam 5A Embankment and Levee Certification

Published Oct. 1, 2018
Updated: April 16, 2020

This project was to complete a risk assessment of the Winona Levee System. The assessment concluded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would recommend accreditation of the system for the National Flood Insurance Program.


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 Corps 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 the northern tie in point in 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 through 2019, the Corps funded a risk assessment of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment. 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 winter 2019, the risk assessment concluded that the Corps would recommend accreditation of the system for the National Flood Insurance Program.


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.


In fiscal year 2020, the Corps completed a risk assessment on the entire system. This pilot project assessment was funded with a partnership agreement cost share of 50/50. The total project risk assessment is $333,300.