ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 2019 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River is coming to an end. The last tow of the season departed St. Paul, Minnesota, Thursday, Nov. 28.The departure of the Motor Vessel Kelly Rae Erickson bookmarks a challenging navigation season that started April 24 with the arrival of the Motor Vessel Aaron F. Barrett. Following the Barrett, there would not be another tow to reach St. Paul for more than three weeks due to spring flooding. The second tow to reach St. Paul was the Motor Vessel Thomas E. Erickson. She reached the capital city May 20. The average date for the first tow is around March 18.There were more than 12,000 commercial vessels and 77 million tons of commodities shipped this season. The shorter navigation season resulted in approximately a 30 percent drop in tonnage compared to the 2018 navigation season and about 25 percent drop from the 10-year average.The last tow of the 2018 navigation season to depart St. Paul was the Motor Vessel Thomas E. Erickson. She departed Nov. 25, 2018.The Corps closed Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 1, both in Minneapolis, to navigation Nov. 9.