USACE signs agreement with Arkansas Waterways Commission to update tow haulage at Murray Lock and Dam

Published June 9, 2023
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District has entered into a cost-share Memorandum of Agreement with the Arkansas Waterways Commission to update tow haulage at Murray Lock and Dam.

A decrease in the speed of tow haulage systems over the years has been a cause for concern within the navigation industry. These delays increase lock through times for barges to five hours, impacting the delivery timetable for goods. When tow haulage systems are functioning properly, commercial vessels can lock through in three hours. 

“Working with the Arkansas Waterways Commission on this project will allow us to make much needed upgrades, increasing productivity, efficiency and functionality for stakeholders along the MKARNS,” said Little Rock District Commander, Col. Damon Knarr.

Once complete, the goal is to standardize tow haulage at all locks and dams along the MKARNS.

The MKARNS fuels economic growth. It is responsible for $1-$2 billion annually in trade transportation in Arkansas and $100 million to $1 billion in trade transportation

annually in Oklahoma, with fertilizer, sand, gravel, iron and steel being the largest traded commodities.

Additional information about the MKARNS can be found on the Internet at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at



Release no. 23-060