Shipping season ends today on the Upper Mississippi River

GUTTENBERG — Iowans who like watching the barges and tugs make their way on the Mississippi River will soon start seeing less traffic.

The shipping season officially ends today on the Upper Mississippi, and winter maintenance begins on four locks and dams between Hastings, Minnesota, and Guttenberg, Iowa.

Liz Stoeckmann  with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says these lock and dam closures end the 2023 navigation season. “We’re really just protecting the longevity of these locks and dams,” Stoeckmann says, “so that we can continue our operations for safe, reliable economy of our barges going up and down the river.”

Stoeckmann says they’re not shutting down boat traffic because of ice or cold weather. “This is standard winter maintenance for our locks and dams,” she says, “so that it doesn’t affect the navigational season as far as barges and traffic going up and down the Mississippi River.”

Crews will be making repairs on several locks and dams in Minnesota, including Number-2 at Hastings, Number-3 in Welch, Number-4 near Alma, Wisconsin, and Number-7 near La Crescent. Last year’s shipping season ended on November 29th.