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Corps’ Fountain City, Wis., Lock and Dam reopens following tow accident

Published May 17, 2013
Ingram Barge Company's motor vessel R. Clayton McWhorter locks through Lock & Dam 5A near Winona, Minn., on May 17, 2013. This tow was the first tow to lock through following a barge struck and seriously damaged one of the upstream gates on May 16.

Ingram Barge Company's motor vessel R. Clayton McWhorter locks through Lock & Dam 5A near Winona, Minn., on May 17, 2013. This tow was the first tow to lock through following a barge struck and seriously damaged one of the upstream gates on May 16.

Ingram Barge Company's motor vessel R. Clayton McWhorter makes approach to Lock & Dam 5A near Winona, Minn., on May 17, 2013. This tow was the first tow to lock through following a barge struck and seriously damaged one of the upstream gates on May 16.

Ingram Barge Company's motor vessel R. Clayton McWhorter makes approach to Lock & Dam 5A near Winona, Minn., on May 17, 2013. This tow was the first tow to lock through following a barge struck and seriously damaged one of the upstream gates on May 16.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is reopening its Lock and Dam 5A on the Mississippi River, near Fountain City, Wis., today, May 17, after a temporary closure due to a tow hitting one of the miter gates during a lockage May 16.

The C. Michael Reeves, a towboat owned by the Marquette Transportation Company, was navigating downriver when it hit the lock gate yesterday at approximately 12:30 p.m. The accident caused significant damage to the upstream, right descending gate.

Corps engineers assessed the damage and determined the lock can remain open with some restrictions until the gate is replaced. The Corps advises all boaters near the lock to use caution and listen carefully to the lock operators’ instructions when locking a boat through the lock.

The replacement gate is being shipped from the Corps’ Rock Island District, and it should arrive sometime next week. The lock will be closed to all navigation traffic when the gate is replaced.

There were no injuries as a result of this accident and the barges did not contain any hazardous materials.

The nearly 700 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 Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.


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Release no. 13-065