Posted on January 13, 2022
ST. PAUL, Minn. – — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, released its 2021 navigation statistics for the Upper Mississippi River today, Jan. 10.
During the 2021 season, Corps staff supported 2,132 commercial navigation lockages at Lock and Dam 10, near Guttenberg, Iowa, which was slightly below the 10-year average of 2,132 lockages. The 2021 lockages supported 13,039,841 tons, or approximately 8,400 barges of commodities shipped by the navigation industry. During the 2020 season, Corps staff supported 2,620 commercial lockages and the movement of 16,974,594 tons of commodities.
In addition to the commercial lockages, Corps staff locked 1,685 recreation vessels during 1,012 lockages. To minimize lockages, the Corps tries to include multiple recreation vessels during a single lockage. There were an additional 12 lockages from various government agencies including the Corps.
The 2021 navigation season unofficially ended Nov. 28, 2021, after the Motor Vessel Jonathon Erickson departed St. Paul, Minnesota. The 2021 navigation season started March 19, 2021, when the Motor Vessel R. Clayton McWhorter locked through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, en route to St. Paul.
Navigation statistics fluctuate from year to year, depending on the weather, river flows and the length of the navigation season. The St. Paul District maintains a 9-foot navigation channel from Minneapolis to Guttenberg, Iowa. Keeping this system open is vital to the nation’s economy.