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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
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St. Paul, MN 55101

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Corps of Engineers welcomes navigation season after historic delay

Published April 16, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, 2014 Mississippi River navigation season has arrived. 

The Motor Vessel Angela K is scheduled to lock through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minn., today around 5 p.m., pushing 12 barges en route to St. Paul, Minn. The estimated arrival time is dependent upon wind, weather and intermediate stops.  

The Corps considers the first tow to arrive at Lock and Dam 2 as the unofficial start of the navigation season, because it means all of its locks are accessible to commercial and recreational vessels. The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000.

The lockage of the M/V Angela K today signifies the latest start to the navigation season within the St. Paul District since 1970, excluding the 2001 season, which was delayed because of flooding. This is only the seventh time that the first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 occurred after March 31. The average start date of the navigation season is March 22.

The navigation season was delayed this year due to historic ice thickness on Lake Pepin, south of Red Wing, Minn. Lake Pepin is the last part of the river to have ice break up, because the river is wider and subsequently the current is slower there than it is at other reaches of the river. The district’s channels and harbors section did a visual inspection for ice April 14 and found no ice within the river.

Local tow boats began operating through the three Minneapolis locks and dams April 2.  

The first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 in 2013 was the M/V Roberta Tabor. She was locked through April 8, 2013.The last tow of the 2013 season was the M/V Ginger Griffin New. She departed the lock heading south Nov. 27, 2013.

The nearly 650 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



Public Affairs

Release no. 14-026