BRIEF: First tow arrives in St. Paul marks latest opening for Mississippi River navigation season

La Crosse Tribune

April 11–The first towboat of the year arrived in the Twin Cities Wednesday afternoon, marking the unofficial start of the navigation season on the Upper Mississippi River.

The Michael Poindexter went through Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minn., about 1:30 p.m., pushing 12 barges en route from Davenport, Iowa, to St. Paul, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

That’s three days later than the previous record first arrival not attributed to flooding. Flooding in 2001 delayed the first arrival until May 11.

The average start to the season is March 22, while the earliest up-bound vessel arrival date is March 4.

Navigation got underway at Lock and Dam 7 at La Crescent shortly before midnight on March 26. The Michael Poindexter passed through La Crescent on Monday and was the first commercial vessel through Lock and Dam 5 in Minnesota City on Tuesday.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Waterways Council, Inc.