- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The navigation season is open on the upper Mississippi River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the towboat New Dawn passed through Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings at 7:45 a.m., pushing nine loaded barges toward St. Paul.

The Corps considers the arrival of the first tow at Lock and Dam 2 the unofficial start of the navigation season because it means all of its locks are accessible.

The earliest that up-bound tows have reached Hastings was March 4 in 1983, 1984 and 2000. Last year the first tow didn’t reach the dam until April 16. Last season closed when the last down-bound tow passed through the lock on Nov. 20.

The Corps reminds boaters to “share the road” because barges are less maneuverable and take longer to stop.

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