The 2014 shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River is open.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the Motor Vessel Angela K and its 12 barges are scheduled to lock through Lock and Dam 2, near Hastings today around 5 p.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.

The Corps says this is the latest start to the navigation season within the St. Paul District since 1970, excluding the 2001 season, which was delayed because of flooding. This is only the seventh time that the first tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 occurred after March 31. The average start date of the navigation season is March 22. The first tow to make it to the Hastings site last year locked through April 8th.
The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000.

This year’s navigation season was delayed because of the record-setting thick ice that covered parts of Lake Pepin.