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 1,320 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 3, near Welch, Minnesota, which was below the 10-year average of 1,546. This was the lowest number since 2010 and was a direct result of high flows. The 2019 lockages supported 6,238,852 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. During the 2018 season, Corps staff supported 1,669 commercial lockages and the movement of 8,078,798 tons of commodities
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 6,158 recreation vessels during 2,337 lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 8 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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