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Corps closes locks, ending Upper Mississippi River navigation season

Published Dec. 7, 2017
Tow boat in a lock chamber

Corps of Engineers lock operators lock the Motor Vessel Bernard G through Lock and Dam 10, in Guttenberg, Iowa, Dec. 7.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, locked its last tow of the season today, Dec. 7, to end the navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River.

The Motor Vessel Bernard G locked through Lock and Dam 10, in Guttenberg, Iowa, early this morning. She was pushing 11 barges filled with corn and soybeans.

The Motor Vessel Pere Marquette was the last vessel to depart St. Paul. She departed Nov. 28, pushing five barges filled with grains and soybeans. She locked through Lock and Dam 10, Nov. 30.

The locks will officially close Dec. 10, but there are no additional tows within the St. Paul District. The closure completes another year of navigation on the Upper Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota, to the district’s most southern facility, Lock and Dam 10. 

The last tow to leave the St. Paul District’s boundaries during the 2016 season was the Motor Vessel J. Andrew Eckstein. She was locked through Lock and Dam 10, Dec. 8.

The Motor Vessel Stephen L. Colby was the first tow to reach St. Paul this season. She arrived with 12 barges March 9, marking the start to the 2017 navigation season. 

The Corps closed Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1, both in Minneapolis, to navigation Nov. 19. Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam was permanently closed to all navigation in 2015.

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


Public Affairs

Release no. 17-084