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Corps to reopen the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock for short period

Published Feb. 25, 2015
Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will reopen its Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, located in Minneapolis, to navigation prior to the June 10 mandated closure.

The decision to reopen the lock for approximately 2.5 months was based on our Environmental Assessment as well as discussions with our partners, stakeholders and concerned groups. The Corps considered every opinion and decided to open the lock to navigation for a brief period this spring to allow businesses to transport and stockpile materials prior to the permanent closure. 

“We fully recognize that this decision will be applauded by some and criticized by others,” said Col. Dan Koprowski, St. Paul District commander. “This is not a decision I made lightly. Certainly reopening the lock carries some limited risk, but that risk had to be balanced against the cost to the businesses that will be forced to transition away from inland waterway navigation as a result of the lock closure. After a great deal of consultation and careful consideration of the potential risks, I decided to reopen the lock for a brief period this spring in order to provide those businesses the opportunity to prepare for that transition.” 

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, signed June 10, 2014, directs the Corps of Engineers to close the lock within one year of the bill’s signing. 

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 2014 $100 million budget, nearly 1,600 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $155 million to the national economy. Nationally, 20 percent of US jobs and one-third of our gross domestic product can be directly linked to trade on our inland waterways. For more information, see



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Release no. 15-008