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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Programs & Project Management
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul MN 55101

(651) 290-5755.


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Posted 3/14/2016

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Updated March 2018

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A Section 216 study will investigate the appropriate future disposition of three locks and dams located in Minneapolis, MN, including Upper St. Anthony Falls (USAF), Lower St. Anthony Falls (LSAF) and Lock and Dam 1. 


The USAF and LSAF locks and dams were constructed as part of the Minneapolis Upper Harbor project in 1963 and 1956 respectively 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.

Congress closed USAF to navigation on June 9, 2015, under Section 2010 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The act did not deauthorize or direct further disposition. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to operate USAF for flood damage mitigation. Due to the closure, commercial navigation at LSAF and Lock and Dam 1 has decreased. This disposition study will examine the benefits and costs of continuing to operate USAF, LSAF, and Lock and Dam 1.

In the first phase of the study, the Corps used existing data to perform a preliminary analysis to determine if the study should proceed to a more detailed analysis. On August 21, 2017, the Corps Chief of Policy and Planning recommended that the study proceed. In the second phase, the Corps further analyzes each site and determines appropriate disposition in addition to preparing an environmental assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.


The second phase began May 2018. In July 2018, the Corps held public meetings and additional meetings with resource agencies and non-governmental agencies. During these meetings, attendees submitted comments to help the Corps identify issues and concerns. Attendees also submitted letters of interest in potential future ownership of any site. The public information effort included outreach to tribes, although formal consultation has not begun.

The second phase’s outcome will be either recommending no action or deauthorization and disposal of one or more of the properties. The Corps will make a draft report available for public comment in early 2019 and will complete the study by November 2019.

Federal property disposal is managed by the General Services Administration as governed by federal law. If disposal of the properties is not confirmed, additional studies may be performed to modify the projects to serve existing or new authorized purposes or for additional uses identified by a potential non-federal sponsor and authorized under a new start feasibility study.


Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 allows the Corps to study completed projects or their operation when found advisable due to significantly changed physical or economic conditions.


The cost of the study is $1.1 million funded under the investigation appropriation. 


Ford Dam inland waterways Lock and Dam 1 Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam LSAF Mississippi River St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam USAF