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Corps continues Mississippi River dredging operations

Published July 29, 2014
WABASHA, Minn. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District's Dredge Goetz conducts dredging operations in the Mississippi River near Wabasha, Minn., June 8, 2011.

WABASHA, Minn. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District's Dredge Goetz conducts dredging operations in the Mississippi River near Wabasha, Minn., June 8, 2011.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, continues its Mississippi River dredging operations to reopen the river to commercial navigation following recent high water.

The Corps is still dredging the 9-foot navigation channel between Wabasha, Minn., and Alma, Wis., in Pool 4. The Corps estimates completing a 200-foot wide pilot channel Aug. 10. Until dredging operations can be completed, the channel will remain closed to commercial navigation. Several locations within the pool have depths less than the necessary 9 feet. The channel in Pool 4 was first closed July 19 at River Mile 754 due to shallow conditions. 

The channel also remains closed to commercial navigation in Pool 6, near Winona, Minn. The Corps estimates completing a 200-foot wide pilot channel Aug. 8. Several locations have current depths less than 9 feet extending across the entire navigation channel. The channel in Pool 6 was closed July 23 after a grounding at Blacksmith Slough, near river mile 719.2. 

The Corps has two government dredging operations, the Dredge Goetz and a mechanical dredging crew, along with two contract mechanical dredging operations currently working to remove the dredged material from the channel. The Corps also has two channel survey boats operating throughout the St. Paul District to monitor other areas within the river as well as supporting dredging operations. The survey results will be evaluated and prioritized based on dredging needs. 

Recent high waters from the June floods caused large amounts of sediment to be carried in the river. When the flows reduced, the sediment settled out of the water, which is creating navigation hazards as the water elevation recedes to normal operating levels. 

The Corps is coordinating with navigation industry officials and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure everyone understands what is being done to reopen the channel as soon as possible. 

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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Release no. 14-074