US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District


Study timeline - Revised

  • May 2019 – Restart Disposition Study focused on Upper St. Anthony Falls
  • May – June 2019 – Public Meetings
  • July 2019 – April 2020 – prepare draft report and Environmental Assessment
  • May – June 2020 – Public review of draft report and Environmental Assessment
  • August 2020 – Final Report

Background / hydropower

The locks and dams at Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lower St. Anthony Falls were constructed as part of the Minneapolis Upper Harbor project in 1963 and 1956, respectively. Lock and Dam 1, located near Minnehaha Park, was originally constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1917, and a hydropower plant was completed here by the Ford Motor Company in 1924. All three sites have a federally-licensed hydropower facility integral to the dams. 

The federally-authorized purposes of the Minneapolis structures is navigation and recreation, and the three locks and dams work together as a commercial navigation system. 

Minneapolis Locks Disposition Studies

Disposition studies examine the benefits and costs of continuing to operate federal projects which are no longer serving their authorized purpose. Disposition studies are conducted in two phases.

• Phase 1 uses existing data to determine whether or not disposal of the properties would be the appropriate course of action.

• Phase 2 includes soliciting input from stakeholders and evaluating alternatives, possibly leading to an order by Congress to dispose of the property.

A Phase 1 study was completed on Upper St. Anthony Falls, Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and Lock and Dam 1 in 2017, and the decision was made to proceed with Phase 2.

Phase 2 of a study for all three facilities began April 2018 and several public meetings were held in July 2018. In October 2018, the Water Resources and Development Act of 2018 directed that a disposition study for Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam was to be completed separately from the other two sites. As such, the study was re-scoped to focus just on Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. A separate study for Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1 will be conducted at a later time.

Phase 2 study for Upper St. Anthony Falls, will be resume in late spring 2019. A likely outcome of Phase 2 will be a report containing recommendations to deauthorize and dispose of all or part of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam property. A draft report will be made available for public comment in summer 2020.

Federal property disposal is managed by the General Services Administration as governed by federal law. If disposal of the properties is not confirmed, additional studies may be performed to modify the projects to serve existing or new authorized purposes, or for additional uses identified by a potential non-federal sponsor and authorized under a new feasibility study.


Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam was closed to navigation on June 9, 2015, under the direction of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The act did not deauthorize or direct further disposition of the lock. The lock continues to be operated for flood damage mitigation. Commercial navigation at Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1 has decreased due to the closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock.

Contact Us

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Project Management
Minneapolis Locks Disposition
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101