ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released the 2016 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River today, Jan. 11.
The Corps’ Lock and Dam 9, near Lynxville, Wisconsin, was above the 10-year average for combined lockages. Corps staff supported 3,842 combined lockages during the 2016 season. The 10-year average is 3,329. The staff supported 3,346 combined lockages during the 2015 season.
There were 2,438 commercial navigation lockages at Lock 9 in 2016. The lockages supported 15,982,304 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. This is the highest amount since 2002. During the 2015 season, Corps staff supported 1,764 commercial lockages and the movement of 12,541,850 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 3,271 recreation vessels during 1,379 recreation lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 25 lockages from various government agencies to include the Corps.
The last tow of the season was the Motor Vessel Jerry Jarrett. She passed through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, heading south Dec. 2, 2016. The last tow of the 2015 navigation season passed through Lock 2, Dec. 3, 2015. The 2016 navigation season started March 13, when the Motor Vessel Ronald Wagonblast reached St. Paul, Minnesota.
Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on the weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season. The St. Paul District maintains a 9-foot navigation channel from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa. Keeping this system open is vital to the nation’s economy.
The nearly 600 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the St. Paul District Fiscal Year 2016 $78 million budget, nearly 1,250 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $120 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.