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Study timeline - Under Revision

- August 20, 2018 – comments and letters of interest requested.
- August 2018 - March 2019 – prepare draft report and Environmental Assessment.
- June-July, 2019 - Public review of draft report and Environmental Assessment.
- December 2019 – Final report

Disposition Study information paper
(Updated September 2018)

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 Study

A disposition study will examine the benefits and costs of continuing to operate the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1. Disposition studies are conducted in two phases.

  • Phase 1 determines whether disposal of the properties would be the appropriate course of action.

  • Phase 2 includes receiving input from stakeholders interested in owning the three locks and dams if ordered by Congress to dispose of the property.

In Phase 1 of the study, existing data was used to perform a preliminary analysis and conduct a decision meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chief of policy and planning. This meeting was held August 21, 2017, and the decision was made to proceed with Phase 2, the study.

Phase 2 of the study resumed April 2018 and is anticipated to be completed Fall/Winter 2019. In Phase 2 of the study, the appropriate disposition of each of the three sites will be further analyzed, and an environmental assessment will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Many stakeholders have already expressed interest in the outcome of the study. The Corps will hold public meetings early in Phase 2 to identify issues and concerns and to identify potential future owners.

A likely outcome of Phase 2 will be a report containing recommendations to deauthorize and dispose of one or more of the lock and dam properties. A draft report will be made available for public comment in early 2019.

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