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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Public Affairs Office
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752
A Winter to Remember: Corps of Engineers continues annual winter maintenance fight to preserve aging infrastructure
The American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 infrastructure report card released in March was less than perfect for the nation’s inland navigation system. According to the report, they gave the Inland waterway infrastructure a D+. The ASCE report said the infrastructure "includes locks and dams as well as navigation channels” but added that shipping delays cost up to $739 per hour for an average tow within the United States.
Lock and dam tow rail systems get upgrades
The St. Paul District is investing more than $18 million in the tow rail system, vital pieces of equipment which assists tows locking through lock and dams when traveling upriver.
Moving sand isn’t just for kids
Navigation on the Upper Mississippi River this year has been anything but normal. Historic flooding plagued the region for much of the spring and early summer. The floods brought historic high water and a significant increase in the amount of sediment. The high water has since receded leaving sediment as the sole souvenir of the 2019 flood.
Meeker Dam: Controversy plagued one of the first locks on the Mississippi River
Listed as one of the “controversies” in Raymond Merritt’s book “Creativity, Conflict & Controversy: A History of the St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” the Meeker Dam project continues to provide intrigue.
Floods of 1997
The St. Paul District faced one of its biggest challenges ever when, in the timeframe of around six weeks in 1997, it simultaneously fought floods in three river basins – the Red, the Minnesota and the Mississippi.
Engineering the Falls: The Corps of Engineers' Role at St. Anthony Falls
People have always been drawn to the power and beauty of St. Anthony Falls. For Native Americans, the falls possessed religious significance and harbored powerful spirits. For the early European and American explorers, the falls provided a landmark in a vast wilderness, as well as an interesting geological phenomenon. During the 19th century, settlers, tourists and artists were drawn to St. Anthony Falls' picturesque beauty, while entrepreneurs seized the water power of the falls for their lumber and flour mills. Meanwhile, promoters of river transportation viewed St. Anthony Falls as an obstacle to be overcome, as they dreamed of extending navigation on the Mississippi River above Minneapolis.
The Boatyard: History of the Fountain City Service Base
For 100 years, the Fountain City, Wisconsin, Boatyard has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to improve navigation on the Upper Mississippi River. These efforts have included the 4 ½-foot channel project (1878-1907), the 6-foot channel project (1907-1930) and the 9-foot channel project (1930-present).
Blackhawk Park site of battle
A lone marker recognizing sacred ground stands at Blackhawk Park, located near DeSoto, Wis. Every year Native American groups visit the park and the surrounding area to pay respect and remember a past. The inscripted stone marks where one of the last Indian-American battles east of the Mississippi River occurred more than 180 years past.
Origin of the Navigation System
Along with their best suits, the delegation packed the hopes and dreams of the entire Northwest – from the farmers in the hinterland to the captains of commerce in St. Paul, Minnesota, and from the merchants on Main Street to the pillars of industry in Minneapolis.
Harpers Slough restoration gains ground
After years of degradation, Mississippi River islands near Lansing, Iowa, are receiving much needed attention.
Lake Pepin ice measurements begin
With an air temperature of -5 degrees and winds at 15 miles per hour or more, St. Paul District staff from the channels and harbors section took to the ice of Lake Pepin on Feb. 18 for the first of weekly ice thickness measurements.
Mother Nature allows for start early to winter lock maintenance
Following a historically late start to the navigation season in 2014, Mother Nature once again showed who’s in charge, giving the region a shot of cold air and shutting down navigation earlier than anticipated. This worked in favor of the district’s maintenance and repair section, based out of the Fountain City, Wisconsin, service base.
New operations manager for Pokegama Dam Recreation Area settles in
Jeff Cook always knew he wanted to be a park ranger. From his early childhood growing up in Eagan, Minnesota, Cook encountered park rangers at the Autobahn Center in Sandstone, Minnesota, giving a presentation about the outdoors for kids. From that point on, he knew he wanted to do what park rangers do -- interact with the public, teach people about being good stewards of the environment and be involved in all the outdoor activities that Minnesota has to offer year around.
Corps of Engineers welcomes navigation season after historic delay
The 2014 Mississippi River navigation season in the St. Paul District has arrived. The Motor Vessel Angela K locked through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minn., around 5:30 p.m., April pushing 12 barges en route to St. Paul, Minn.
Little Hoot Island tree planting
On May 23, 2013, 19 tree planters representing individual volunteers, the Student Conservation Association, School on the Prairie from Holmen, Wis., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Section of the Corps of Engineers, converged on Little Hoot Island on the Mississippi River in Pool 8 near Brownsville, Minn., to plant 750 tree and shrub seedlings.
Bosse navigation charts in the new century
As commercial navigation becomes more dependent upon electronic technology, the use of paper navigation charts like the hand written ones completed by Henry Bosse in the early 1900s and used on the Dredge Thomson until 2005 are becoming a thing of the past.
District, partners dedicate Pool 8 islands project
District staff gathered near Brownsville, Minn., Aug. 30, to highlight and dedicate the completion of a 3,000-acre environmental project along the Mississippi River in Pool 8.
Corps, partners work together to preserve endangered mussels
Working side-by-side with boats and divers, the district and its partners worked as a unified team to place three federally endangered mussel species within the Mississippi River at Pool 2, Aug. 17.
District uses technology to learn about fish behavior around locks and dams
As Asian carp continue to dominate news headlines across the Upper Mississippi River, the district’s scientists recently received some new technology to assist them in researching fish on the river.
A tree today, wildlife habitat tomorrow
One of the final steps in the Corps’ Environment Management Program Pool 8 project began April 20 with the last season of tree plantings on islands south of Brownsville, Minn.