First Lock & Dam Expansion Underway Outside Winfield
A series of barges carrying soybeans makes its way through Lock and Dam Number 25 along the Mississippi River outside Winfield, Mo. (Photo courtesy of Mike Steenhoek, Soy Transportation Coalition)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground Thursday on a long-overdue project to modernize the lock and dam on the Mississippi River outside Winfield.  A second lock capable of handling larger barges will be built next to the current gate.  The project is expected to take over a decade, and Soy Transportation Coalition executive director Mike Steenhoek says the longer timetable is necessary to ensure that traffic can still operate as normal on the river.

The lock hasn’t received a major overhaul since it was built during the late 1930s.  Steenhoek says it’s one of seven locks along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers set to receive an upgrade.

Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021 is making possible the upgrades to Lock and Dam No. 25 outside Winfield as well as the other planned improvements to the Upper Mississippi River system.