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Minneapolis locks will close Friday to recreational traffic

Published June 21, 2012
ST. PAUL, Minn. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will close the three Twin Cities locks to recreational boats Friday morning at 10 a.m. because of increasing high water flows in the Mississippi River.

This is the second time this year the locks have closed due to excessive rain. The locks were closed May 28 to recreational traffic because of unsafe conditions and were reopened June 8. Based on the National Weather Service forecast, the Corps anticipates closing the locks to commercial traffic sometime this weekend.

The Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lower St. Anthony Falls lock and dams in downtown Minneapolis, and Lock and Dam 1, next to Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, close to recreational traffic when flows pass 30,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs. Commercial traffic is closed when flows exceed 40,000 cfs. Based on National Weather Service forecasts, it could be a week or longer before flows are below 30,000 cfs and the upper three locks are once again open to recreational traffic.

According to the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division lock and dam regulation manual, the district is required to close the lock and dams because the high flows are unsafe for recreational boat navigation at 30,000 cfs.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, serves the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. It contributes around $181 million to the five-state district economy. The 700 employees work at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.

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Release no. 12-070