The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Mississippi River in the Wabasha and Winona areas has been reopened to commercial shipping after dredging activities were completed on Thursday.
Corps Spokesman, Patrick Moes, said the Corps dredged temporary 200-feet wide pilot channels between Wabasha and Alma, and near Winona. The pilot channels allowed the U.S. Coast Guard to officially reopen the 9-foot navigation channel to commercial traffic. The normal authorized channel width is 300 feet. It was originally closed July 19th, near Wabasha, and July 23rd, near Winona.
The channels at both locations have been reopened without any restrictions. The channel near Winona was reopened on August 3rd, but required restrictions on the barge configurations.
In all, the Corps had two government dredging operations going on. Collectively, the dredges removed more than 290,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the river.
This is nearly 30 percent of the average material removed during an entire year, and it's enough material to fill a line of 10-cubic-yard dump trucks from Minneapolis to La Crosse.
Channel surveying boats will continue looking for shallow areas in the coming weeks......