M/V New Dawn arrived at Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minn. Wednesday morning, marking the unofficial opening of the 2015 shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River
, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
The USACE St. Paul District recognizes 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.
American River Transportation Company boat M/V New Dawn, pushing nine barges loaded with fertilizer en route to St. Paul, Minnesota, locked through Lock and Dam 2 at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 25.
The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000, the USACE said.
The first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 in 2014 was the M/V Angela K on April 16, while the last tow of the 2014 season was the M/V Mary K. Cavarra departing the lock heading south November 20.