Closure Of Major Mississippi River Lock Will Hurt Shipping Industry, Report Finds

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Will Close Lock To Prevent Spread Of Asian Carp

The Upper St. Anthony Falls lock near Minneapolis. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CC-BY).

A new report shows the effects the upcoming closure of a Minneapolis-area Mississippi River will have on the area.

Congress ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock to prevent the spread of Asian carp.

A draft environmental assessment of the closure shows the shipping industry will be hurt the most, including companies moving sand, gravel and scrap metal that are located upstream from the lock. Shipping costs are expected to go up, since the products will now have to move by freight or rail.

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Corps project manager Russ Snyder said they will either end navigation in June or won’t open the lock in the spring.

“I don’t have an example or a precedent where the Corps has either closed or been directed to close a lock that still had viable, regularly scheduled navigation,” Snyder said. “So, it is a very unique situation.”

The assessment found that the closure will have a minimal impact on wildlife and water quality.

The public can comment on the assessment through Jan. 23.