Upper River Economic Impact Assessment

Bill Weber served as a member of a team that assessed the local and regional economic effects of potentially closing the Upper Lock of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, which was considered an option to halt the further upriver migration of Asian carp, a harmful invasive species.

The study analyzed the changes in the transportation system and elements of the supply chain, including storage and handling facilities, identified anticipated business adaptations to these changes, and described the effect of these changes on (a) the state economy, including average annual output, earnings, jobs and value-added, (b) the businesses that use the locks and their employees, (c) the sectors and businesses that use the commodities shipped through the locks and (d) recreational users, organizations and businesses.

The impact analysis identified (1) required business outlays, (2) displaced or reduced employment, earnings and output at the locks and dams, (3) potential displacement or closure of businesses and other activities, (4) the societal costs imposed by a shift from barge to truck transportation and (5) redevelopment potential of riverfront if heavy industry is relocated.

Bill assisted with the many interviews, helped prepare the text, and created photos and other graphics.

The project was led by Economic Development Services, Inc., and included Economic and Development Services, Inc., of Boston for economic and traffic modeling, and Mary Edwards Consulting. The study was prepared for the Metropolitan Council on behalf of Governor Mark Dayton.