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Army Corps awards $17M contract for lock, dam repairs

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a multimillion dollar contract to a Wisconsin company to repair five Mississippi River locks and dams in the region where western Wisconsin connects to southeastern Minnesota.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the agency awarded the $17 million contract to Kraemer North America LLC. The civil contractor will replace deteriorating rails at the locks and dams near La Crosse and Winona, Minnesota.

Kimberly Warshaw, a project manager, says safety is among the biggest drivers of the project. She says the Corps installed tow rails in the 1960s, when commercial shipping embraced longer boats and tows. The rails anchor and guide unpowered barges through lock chambers.

Scott Snelling, a project organizer, says failing tow rails can cause barges to drift or get pulled toward dam gates.

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