Posted on May 22, 2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is scheduled to begin dredging the Mississippi River navigation channel near Winona, Minnesota, this week to ensure the channel remains open for commercial navigation.
Corps staff anticipate removing around 27,000 cubic yards of river sand from the navigation channel between river miles 720.1 – 720.8 and will be placing it at the Homer Beneficial Use Site, south of Winona. Additional dredging requirements may be needed based on conditions.
Around 45,000 cubic yards of sand previously placed at the Homer site was removed this past winter and beneficially used for an economic development project in Winona’s Technology Park Area.
Paul Machajewski, St. Paul District dredged material manager, said the beneficial reuse of river sand is a win-win-win solution for the Corps of Engineers. “Helping communities develop solutions for their construction fill needs, while building additional storage capacity and maintaining the navigation channel is the goal of our program,” said Machajewski. “Collectively, these solutions save tax dollars while also ensuring the navigation channel remains viable for producers wanting to ship agricultural products on the river.”
Machajewski said the Corps anticipates dredging activities will last around five weeks. He asked that boaters use caution near the dredging activities and to think about water safety while on the water to include wearing a life jacket, having an anchor readily available and taking a boater safety course if you haven’t done so already.
The St. Paul District 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. 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. Nearly 13 million tons of commodities passed through Lock and Dam 10 in 2021. This included nearly 8.5 million tons of farm products such as corn and soybeans. The industries making these shipments saved approximately $430 million by using the inland waterways instead of overland shipping methods.
For more information on the Corps’ dredging activities, please visit us online at: www.mvp.usace.army.mil.