Potential national disaster--Mississippi River shipping stops

A cutoff wall built in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the 1870s has not been checked since it was built. The dam sitting on top of that wall controls the water depth/flow of the river. If the wall goes, the dam likes goes as well. Then the depth of the river will fall dramatically, rendering much of the river too shallow for barge traffic. Plus less water for drinking, industrial use, cooling for power plants (nuclear and non-nuclear), farming, and so on. Imagine the internal migration AWAY from the river over its entire length due to businesses closing, lack of power, farms disappearing, and so on. That is the definition of a macro issue which needs to be addressed by the federal govt ASAP.


Too much of the entire Mississippi and Missouri valley systems are now threadbare, ancient, and unassessed for dangers.

Add it to the list of how the USA is becoming ever more like the 4th generation squanderers of mighty family fortunes, snorting their ancestors wealth up their kazoos.

david fb
(YES, raise taxes and maintain old while building new vital infrastructure… Not a chance within our current time horizons.)


A large scale version of Michigan, where education and infrastructure were starved, for decades, because ideology says only the “JCs” know the best use for money. And, as you say, the “JCs” decide the “best use” is to have a big party, for themselves. No Proles allowed.



Only us boomers are dumb enough to believe nothing can be done and make nothing happen. As if, “I told you so”.

“Maintenance” is unglamorous, at least in comparison with “look at this shiny new thing”.

So when the whole thing falls down, suddenly there are people running all over with their hair on fire, when what should have happened is regular, routine updating and planning in incremental steps instead of trying to bandage over 30 years of missed opportunities.

But it’s easy to cut taxes and pretend there’s no price to pay for it.


But we did not cut taxes for the majority of ejits who wanted a tax cut. That never seems to occur to them. We have local state and federal taxes. Most of them are taxed more than ever because we certainly did give taxes to people the others never will be. Yeah do not expect the lottery to make up the difference.

There is no way to do maintenance on the cutwall, which is the whole problem. It is under the Mississippi River, so what should have been done (inspection portals or even an inspection tunnel) was not considered in the 1870s. There is no way to access it to inspect it. No idea what materials were used to build it, for example. Be a fun time trying to figure out how to re-route the river if the cutwall needs to be replaced. And what about the dam built on top of the cutwall? This is an engineering problem, IMO–so let them figure out how to do it.