See the Mississippi River in its natural flow state

The Mississippi River during the 2008 drawdown.

The Mississippi River during the 2008 drawdown.

UPDATE 2/8/19: “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will forgo plans to temporarily lower Mississippi River elevation in the intermediate pool between Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls, originally scheduled to take place from Feb. 25 to March 1. The drawdown, requested by the Bassett Creek Watershed Commission, was proposed to facilitate a tunnel inspection as part of the Bassett Creek Flood Risk Reduction project. Further review of the proposal found that a drawdown could not be supported at this time.”

2/5/19: This month we will have a unique chance to see what parts of the Mississippi River looked like before it was altered by the lock and dam.

Starting around February 23, 2019 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin the process of lowering the river’s water level by 13 feet. This temporary drawdown will only take place in the Lower Saint Anthony Pool, which is downstream of the upper lock and dam. The river normally sits at an elevation of 750 feet.

The drawdown will nearly restore this part of the river to its natural flow state with rapids. One of the most exciting things to see is the Stone Arch Bridge as it was intended, which is much taller than it appears. The lowered water level will also expose footing for the 10th Avenue wagon bridge and portions of William de la Barre's 1879 dam foundation. Special viewings are in the works, so stay tuned to our events page and Facebook page for announcements.

The purpose of the project is to inspect a 12 foot portion of the Bassett Creek Tunnel, the crown of which is normally under water. The last time this happened was in 2008, and the flood tunnel must be inspected every ten years. The water will be at its lowest point around February 26, and begin to rise around March 1.