2021-06-10 16:05Pressrelease

Secretary Preston and Governor Hutchinson to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS)


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (June 10, 2021) - Secretary Mike Preston, Governor Asa Hutchinson, and the Arkansas Waterways Commission will hold a news conference today to commemorate the 50th Anniversay of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) and highlight its contributions and economic impact to the State of Arkansas. 


News conference to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS).


Arkansas Department of Commerce
Rockefeller Conference Room
1 Commerce Way, 6th Floor 
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202


Thursday, June 10, 2021 – 1:30pm


RSVP to acurtis@arkansasedc.com to attend in person or via zoom.

About Arkansas EDC

The McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) is part of the United States inland waterway system originating at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and running southeast through Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River. The total length of the system is 445 miles (716 km). It was named for two Senators, Robert S. Kerr (D-OK) and John L. McClellan (D-AR), who pushed its authorizing legislation through Congress. The system officially opened on June 5, 1971. President Richard M. Nixon attended the opening ceremony. It is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. While the system primarily follows the Arkansas River, it also includes portions of the Verdigris River in Oklahoma, the White River in Arkansas, and the Arkansas Post Canal, a short canal named for the nearby Arkansas Post National Memorial which connects the Arkansas and White Rivers. Through Oklahoma and Arkansas, dams artificially deepen and widen the modest-sized river to build it into a commercially navigable body of water. The design enables traffic to overcome an elevation difference of 420 feet (130 m) between the Mississippi River and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. Along the section of the Arkansas River that carries the McClellan–Kerr channel, the river sustains commercial barge traffic and offers passenger and recreational use. Here, the system is a series of reservoirs.


Alisha Curtis
Chief of Communications and Legislative Affairs
Alisha Curtis
Arkansas Department of Commerce