US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District


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

Published March 14, 2016
Updated: March 22, 2019
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A Section 216 study will investigate the appropriate future disposition of Upper St. Anthony Falls (USAF) Lock and Dam, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The USAF Lock and Dam 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.

The Corps began a disposition study for three lock and dam sites (Upper St. Anthony Falls, Lower St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam 1) in 2017 and conducted a series of public meetings in July 2018.  With passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA 2018), a study for Upper St. Anthony Falls will be performed separately and expedited.  The study for Lower St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam 1 will be deferred until after the USAF disposition study is complete.  WRDA 2018 also directed that the USAF disposition study examine an alternative in which the Corps retains operation and maintenance of the flood risk reduction features of the project, while making other portions of the project available for disposition and redevelopment.


The Corps will restart the disposition study, focused on Upper St. Anthony Falls, in spring 2019, beginning with a series of public meetings.  Alternatives will include no action, full disposition and partial disposition of the project.

The Corps will make a draft report available for public comment in early 2020 and will complete the study in late 2020.  As part of the disposition study and report, an environmental assessment will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

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 $650K funded under the investigation appropriation.