ST. PAUL, Minn. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released its 2019 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River today, Feb. 5.
During the 2019 season, Corps staff supported 1,140 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, which was below the 10-year average of 1,360. This was the lowest number since 2008 and was a direct result of high flows. The 2019 lockages supported 6,245,415 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2018 season, Corps staff supported 1,437 commercial lockages and the movement of 8,076,243 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 2,213 recreation vessels during 1,064 lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 12 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.
The 2019 navigation season unofficially came to a close on Nov. 28 after the Motor Vessel Kelly Rae Erickson departed St. Paul, Minnesota. The 2019 navigation season started April 24, when the Motor Vessel Aaron F. Barrett 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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