The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul says the 2014 Mississippi River navigation season has arrived in St. Paul.
The Motor Vessel Angela K was scheduled to lock through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings this evening pushing 12 barges en route to St. Paul.
The Corps considers the first tow to arrive at Lock and Dam 2 as the unofficial start of the navigation season, because it means all of its locks are accessible to commercial and recreational vessels. The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4th, in 1983, 1984 and 2000.
The commercial shipping season in Winona opened last Friday with the arrival of the towboat "Wisconsin" with five barges.
The lockage of the M/V Angela K signifies the latest start to the navigation season within the St. Paul District since 1970, excluding the 2001 season, which was delayed because of flooding. This is only the seventh time that the first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 occurred after March 31st. The average start date of the navigation season is March 22nd.
The navigation season was delayed this year due to historic ice thickness on Lake Pepin.