Lock and Dam 5A, Embankment and Levee Certification

Updated September 2017
Published March 16, 2017

The Lock and Dam 5A, or LD5A, embankment is located along the Mississippi River about 3-1/2 river miles above the city of Winona, Minnesota, and about 3 river miles below Fountain City, Wisconsin. Its entire footprint lies within the State of Minnesota. The St. Paul District is responsible for operation and maintenance of the LD5A embankment, as part of the LD5A dam project, authorized for the purposes of navigation and recreation.

The Winona, Minnesota, Flood Risk Management Project (FRMP) was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1958, of which the LD5A embankment was used as part of the line of protection. The City of Winona, Minnesota, owns and operates a levee portion that make up the Winona, Minnesota, FRMP.

The LD5A embankment is approximately15,500 feet in length from its high ground tie-in point at Minnesota City, Minnesota, to the southern tie-in with the Winona FRMP. The height of the embankment ranges between twelve and twenty-two feet and has a top width of twenty-eight feet.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is verifying that all levees recognized as providing protection from the base flood meet the requirements outlined in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 65.10 (44 CFR 65.10). This code requires that specific structural requirements must be certified by a registered professional engineer or a federal agency with responsibility for levee design (such as the Corps).  The city of Winona is performing this certification for the FRMP, with the Corps providing an analysis of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment in support of that certification.

In fiscal year 2016, operations and maintenance funding was used to prepare a draft Technical Review Report of the Lock and Dam 5A embankment. The preliminary evaluation identified a potential seepage problem.

In fiscal year 2017 additional geotechnical information was obtained and additional risk analysis was performed.  Communication is ongoing with FEMA and the sponsor to determine if the embankment can be certified per FEMA requirements.

The project was authorized as part of the Rivers and Harbors Act approved July 3, 1930. The act authorized the construction, repair, and preservation of public works on river and harbors, and for other purposes.


Operation and maintenance of the project is funded annually under the Corps Civil Works Operation and Maintenance appropriation. Mississippi River funding allocated to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District in recent fiscal years has ranged from $50 to $60 million.