ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released the 2018 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River today, Feb. 1.
The Corps’ Lock and Dam 4, near Alma, Wisconsin, was slightly below the 10-year average for combined lockages. Corps staff supported 3,553 lockages during the 2018 season. The 10-year average is 3,656. The staff supported 3,832 combined lockages during the 2017 season.
There were 1,646 commercial navigation lockages at Lock 4 in 2018. The lockages supported 9,050,677 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2017 season, Corps staff supported 1,971 commercial lockages and the movement of 11,290,033 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 3,725 recreation vessels during 1,890 recreation lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 50 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.
The last tow of the season was the Motor Vessel Titletown U.S.A. She passed through Lock 10, heading south, Dec. 1, 2018. The 2018 navigation season started April 11, when the Motor Vessel Michael Poindexter locked through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, en route to 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.
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