Reps. Omar, Craig Pass Provision to Expedite the Completion of the Partial Disposition of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock Facility

July 29, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020, Congress passed a provision to expedite the completion of the partial disposition of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock. The bill also includes provisions to address climate change, invest in key pieces of natural infrastructure, and assist minority, tribal, and rural communities. The provision was led by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN). 

WRDA moves forward many locally-driven projects, including the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock facility in Minneapolis. While in Congress, Attorney General Keith Ellison worked to permanently close the lock to barge traffic in order to protect the Mississippi headwaters from invasive carp. The provision in WRDA 2020 advances a local initiative to redevelop this key area of land for public use. The site sits in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

“I am thrilled this legislation will expedite the transfer of important lands that surround the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in Minneapolis,” said Rep. Omar. “This is a rare opportunity to reimagine a piece of infrastructure that no longer serves its purpose. I’m grateful to build on my predecessor’s legacy in returning this land to the community – to reimagine how we tell the story of the Mississippi Riverfront and represent the communities who lived here long before this lock was ever built. Before the Lock, this site included Spirit Island, a sacred area for the Dakota people. For too long, our city’s story started with mills and industry. This is a long overdue step to expand the narrative and tell a fuller story of Minneapolis. I am grateful for the partnership of my colleague Rep. Angie Craig and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”