ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, recently reopened its three Minneapolis locks to commercial traffic and recreation boaters as flows dropped below 40,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs, and 30,000 cfs.
The locks reopened to commercial navigation Saturday, July 5, when flows dropped below 40,000 cfs. The three locks reopened to recreation boaters today, July 7, as flows dropped below 30,000 cfs.
The Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and dams in downtown Minneapolis and Lock and Dam 1, adjacent to Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, were closed to commercial traffic on June 16, after strong storms across the region dropped large amounts of rainfall. More rain the following week kept flows on the Mississippi River and its tributaries running high. They were previously closed to recreation boaters on June 2.
So far this navigation season, the three Minneapolis locks, have been closed to commercial navigation four times, totaling 47 days. For recreation boaters, they have been closed three times, totaling 76 days. Operators at the three upper locks initially started locking commercial traffic the first week of April.
According to the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division lock and dam regulation manual, the district is required to close the lock and dams to recreational traffic at 30,000 cfs because the high flows are unsafe. Commercial traffic at these locks is shut down at 40,000 cfs.
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 www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
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