The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Lock and Dam 8 near Genoa, Wisconsin, south of La Crosse, will reopen a week later than scheduled.
The facility originally was scheduled to reopen March 10th, but the reopening has been pushed back to March 17th.
The Corps says thick ice indicates navigation on the Upper Mississippi River won't begin soon. So work crews will have more time to complete scheduled maintenance on the lock and dam.
Lock and Dam 8 was closed for renovation and maintenance on Dec. 2nd. During the closure the lock is drained of water. Scheduled maintenance includes repairing concrete; repairing, sandblasting and painting the miter gates; and replacing the bubbler system that prevents the gates from freezing in cold weather.
Last Thursday the Corps took it first measurements of the Lake Pepin ice and discovered it was 30 inches thick two miles above Reads Landing.
The delay at Lock and Dam 8 means the first towboats to arrive at Winona's commercial harbor will also be delayed.
The average opening of the river in the Winona area over the last ten years is March 21st.....