ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released the 2015 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River today, Jan. 11.
The Corps’ Lock and Dam 10, near Guttenberg, Iowa, was slightly below the 10-year average for combined lockages. Corps staff supported 3,271 combined lockages during the 2015 season. The 10-year average is 3,435. The staff supported 2,847 combined lockages during the 2014 season.
There were 2,088 commercial navigation lockages at Lock 10 in 2015. The lockages supported 14,338,740 tons of commodities by the navigation industry. This is the highest amount since 2007. During the 2014 season, Corps staff supported 1,891 commercial lockages and the movement of 12,602,361 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 3,062 recreation vessels during 1,165 recreation lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 18 lockages from various government agencies to include the Corps.
The unofficial last tow of the season was the Motor Vessel Charlie G. She passed through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, Dec. 3. The Motor Vessel Mary K Cavarra passed through Lock 2, Nov. 20, during the 2014 season. The 2015 navigation season started March 25, when the Motor Vessel New Dawn reached St. Paul, Minnesota.
Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on the weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season. The St. Paul District maintains a 9-foot navigation channel from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa. Keeping this system open is vital to the nation’s economy.
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. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.