Lock Repair

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is preparing for major repairs at six of its Mississippi River locks this winter to ensure they continue working as designed. Maintenance is scheduled at Lock and Dam 4, Alma, Wisconsin; Lock and Dam 5A, near Fountain City, Wisconsin; Lock and Dam 6, Trempealeau, Wisconsin; Lock and Dam 7, near La Crescent, Minnesota; Lock and Dam 8, near Genoa, Wisconsin; and Lock and Dam 10, Guttenberg, Iowa. The locks will be closed from Nov. 28 to March 17, 2022. Work will vary at each site, ranging from replacing anchorages that are instrumental in operating the miter gates; upgrading the tow haul rail system, which is used to move barges upstream of the lock chamber when a tow is heading north and there is a need to break the tow into two lockages; and inspecting and repairing miter gates. All of the construction activities are scheduled to be completed during the winter to avoid impacts to the navigation industry. The completed work will improve safety for Corps lock operators and industry deckhands. “Having the tow haul rail system working is critical to keeping our lock staff safe and ensuring navigation vessels can efficiently lock through our facilities,” said Jim Rand, St. Paul District locks and dams chief. “With a lot of this infrastructure more than 80 years old, it’s critical that we find value-added solutions to maintain the system and ensure navigation continues transporting commodities made in the Upper Midwest to global markets.” The St. Paul District’s navigation program provides a safe, reliable and cost-effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation system on the Upper Mississippi River for the movement of commercial goods and for national security needs. To do this, the district maintains a 9-foot navigation channel and 13 locks and dams from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa. Keeping this system open is vital to the nation’s economy.

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