The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended the public review of an Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam disposition study to allow the study team to update the draft report to reflect new legislation that authorizes the Secretary of the Army to convey land adjacent to the lock to the city of Minneapolis for recreational purposes.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 was approved by Congress and signed into law on December 27. In addition to the land conveyance, it provides licenses pertaining to the lock structures for recreation, tourism and interpretative purposes. The Army Corps will also conduct a survey to determine which portion of the land can be transferred to the city as soon as possible.

lock and dam
The Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam are shown looking downstream on the Mississippi River toward the Stone Arch Bridge.

The Corps released the initial disposition study for two months of public review beginning on December 16. In it, the Corps recommended complete disposal of the federal government’s interest in the Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock, along with a monetary incentive to sweeten the sale of the lock. The new legislation does not change that recommendation.

Once updated, the draft report on the lock and dam disposition study will be reposted on the Army Corps’ website at mvp.usace.army.mil/MplsLocksDisposition/.

— Dale Mischke

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