The mv. Aaron F. Barrett, pushing 12 barges en route to St. Paul, Minn., was locked through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings, today (April 24) around 7 a.m.
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. However, this spring’s high flows continue to force lock closures in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri and could lead to additional lock closures within the St. Paul District, leading to delays in other tows reaching St Paul.
The earliest date for an upbound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000. The average start date of the navigation season is March 22. The latest arrival date unrelated to flooding was April 11, 2018. Historic flooding in 2001 delayed the arrival of the first tow until May 11.
The 6,120 hp. Aaron F. Barrett was built in 1983 by Dravo Corporation and is owned and operated by Ingram Barge Company.
Caption for photo: The mv. Aaron F. Barrett transits Upper Mississippi River Lock 2 April 24 to reach the Port of St. Paul. (Photo by Patrick Loch, St. Paul Engineer District)