Dam Bridge & Gate Painting – Lower St. Anthony Falls Through Lock and Dam 10

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Feb. 26, 2015
Updated: April 4, 2022

The project is the routine maintenance, including painting and repair of the dam gates. Phase 1 consisted of report development, including alternatives and life cycle costs. Phase 2 of the project analyzed the alternatives, and decided upon an Indefinite Delivery – Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) acquisition strategy with maintenance performed on site.


The St. Paul District operates and maintains 13 locks and dams from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. Lock and Dam 5 is the starting point of the study. The study should be applicable to the other locks and dams.


Each lock and dam is a critical step in the "stairway of water" that allows navigation between Minneapolis and St. Louis, Missouri. The Corps constructed Locks and Dams 2 through 10 in the 1930s. Each site includes a dam bridge and varying numbers of dam gates. The gates are critical components because they control pool elevation for navigation, flood control and environmental purposes.

Typically, the gates are partially submerged in flowing water and subjected to abrasion from sediment and debris. Abrasion degrades the paint systems, contributing to corrosion and an escalating backlog of repairs.


The life expectancy of modern paint systems ranges from 15 to 25 years.

The St. Paul District has been unable to award a painting contract for many years because of funding constraints.

The district will pursue routine dam gate maintenance, including repair and painting, through an IDIQ contract.  Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will be used to develop and review routine dam gate maintenance plans and specifications.


The project was authorized as part of the Rivers and Harbors Act approved July 3, 1930.


The St. Paul District has received $1 million from IIJA in fiscal year 2022 to prepare plans and specifications throughout the Lock & Dam portfolio.