The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, saw the last tow of the 2023 navigation season as the Motor Vessel Thomas Erickson, departed Lock and Dam 10, near Guttenberg, Iowa, Dec. 3, with 15 barges.
The 2023 season started March 12, when the Motor Vessel Phillip M Pfeffer broke its way through the ice of Lake Pepin to travel to St. Paul, Minnesota.
While we say goodbye to the 2023 navigation season, St. Paul District staff are busy this coming winter with maintenance projects at Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota; Lock and Dam 3, near Welch, Minnesota; Lock and Dam 4, near Alma, Wisconsin; and Lock and Dam 7, near La Crescent, Minnesota. The work is scheduled for completion in March 2024, and will help ensure the navigation channel continues to support the regional economy for the movement of bulk commodities such as corn, soybeans, cement and fertilizer.
The St. Paul District’s navigation program provides a safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation system on the Upper Mississippi River for the movement of commercial goods and for national security needs. Keeping this system open is vital to the nation’s economy. The industries using the inland navigation system saved approximately $430 million instead of overland shipping methods.