St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam
In 1930-40, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a series of 23 locks and dams on the Mississippi River. Called the 9-Foot Channel Project, because of the depth to which the navigation channel was dredged, it stopped a few miles short of the river's only waterfall. To enable river traffic to reach Minneapolis railheads, Congress authorized a 4.6-mile extension. Because of the unusual geography in the St. Anthony Falls area, the Corps built a low-crest, non-navigable dam that uses both Tainter (valve type) and roller gates. Construction of the Lower Lock and Dam was completed in 1956 and the Upper Lock was finished in 1963.
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Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Fun Fact:Nearby is the Stone Arch Bridge, built in the 1800s by the Great Northern Railroad and used until the 1980s. For the canal project, a bridge pier and two spans had to be replaced with a steel truss to allow river vessels to pass below. Rerouting the trains wasn't feasible, so the railroad grade was raised 5 ft, and trains were limited to one track.