Lake City, MN (KROC-AM News) -- The 2016 shipping season on the upper Mississippi River could get underway this weekend.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers previously announced plans to open Lock and Dam 9 south of Lansing, Iowa on Saturday, and the latest measurements of the ice on Lake Pepin show it shouldn’t stop a river tow from pushing barges north to St. Paul.

The Corps of Engineers website indicates the recent warm weather has shrunk the ice on the lake to a maximum thickness of 10 inches in an area south of Lake City. The survey conducted Wednesday also shows the remaining ice is slushier “white ice,” rather than the more solid “blue ice” that had clogged the shipping channel until this week.

At last check, two northbound river tows were waiting at Lock and Dam 9 for it to open.

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