Army Corps Recommendation

In recent weeks, the US Army Corps of Engineers declared its intention to seek a new owner for the Upper Lock, a risky plan that could put the lock into the hands of a private corporation.

The Corps seeks to abandon the Lock structure, including the cost of maintenance and its responsibility for flood risk management.

Read the full USACE Disposition Study draft report here.

Our Position

We advocate for an alternate outcome, referred to as "partial disposition":

• The Army Corps continues to own and maintain the Lock, sustaining its essential functions such as managing floods and ensuring a reliable drinking water supply for one million Twin Citians.

• Land around the Lock, which the Army Corps no longer needs, is transferred to the City of Minneapolis or its designee to create a community gathering place at the river.

Why should the Corps maintain management of the Lock?

• Lock operations and maintenance should not be in the hands of a private entity.

Over 1 million Twin Cities residents and business depend on the Lock to maintain upstream water levels for water supply, as do the airport, hospitals, schools and universities.

• Should anything go wrong, we do not have confidence that a private, non-government entity would have the wherewithal to manage and pay for repair and recovery.

• The Corps built this infrastructure. Why should they be able to walk away from it now?

• In the Water Resources Development Act of 2020, Congress directed the Army Corps to transfer the land around the Lock to the City of Minneapolis as promptly as possible. We can have improved public access and a well-maintained, trustworthy Lock.

URGENT: Respond to the Study

This crucial piece of infrastructure cannot be handed off to an unproved party.

Submit a comment letter to the Army Corps before March 18, 2021 during the 60-day public comment period.


Add your signature to our sign-on letter and join us in calling on the Army Corps to maintain their ownership and management responsibilities at the Lock. The Army Corps will see your name and city of residence, but not your email address.


Download our template to draft your own letter. In your letter:

1. Urge the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain ownership and maintenance of the Lock.

2. Support the quick transfer of "excess" land surrounding the Lock for recreational use.

3. Write openly and from the heart, reflecting your opinion of the future of the Upper Lock.

Submit your comment letter directly to the Army Corps before March 18, 2021 during the 60-day public comment period.

Email comments:

Formal written correspondence:
District Engineer, St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers
ATTN: Regional Planning and Environmental Division North
180 Fifth Street East
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

If you’re willing, please email a copy of your comment letter to info@thefalls.org.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the The Falls and the consequences of the Army Corps recommendation in this Backgrounder & FAQ.