MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  Hundreds of people have gotten a unique look at the Mississippi River the last few days. It’s an opportunity that hasn’t happened in over a decade.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered the river levels near the Stone Arch Bridge by about 12 feet to be able to do some inspections on the lock and dam.

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“I’m in awe, to be able to see the Stone Arch bridge from this perspective,” one visitor remarked.

It’s the lowest the Mississippi has been in this area since 2008 — revealing history and some littering.

“There’s just a lot of trash,” Xcel Energy Director of Community Relations John Marshall said. “I heard there was some electric scooters before some conduit, some piping just a variety of debris down here.”

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Xcel Energy crews spent hours Thursday cleaning up some of the debris. That also included tires, cables, and grocery carts.

It’s exposed quite a bit of debris and litter,” Marshall added. “I know we’re in a pandemic but there is still an opportunity to serve and give back.”

Still, the view is unique and a reminder for many of the beauty of the city.

“When we were up on the Stone Arch Bridge and then down here…oh how I love Minneapolis and what it stands for, and the history that’s been in our city,” resident Renae Saville-Winter said.

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Thursday marked the last day that the public could access this area. Once the Army Corps of Engineers wraps up their inspections, it will just take a little time for the river level to normalize.

Kate Raddatz