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Dick Lambert, 78, Minnesota Department of Transportation director for ports and waterways, will retire in a few weeks after 21 years. Lambert is standing in front of Lambert's Landing, named after his grandfather Col. George Lambert, along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. (Sherri LaRose-Chiglo / St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Minnesota's go-to man on waterborne commerce to retire

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Ask Dick Lambert about working the Mississippi River, and his eyes light up.

Ask him about the tonnage of freight shipped out of Minnesota each year through the ports of Duluth-Superior, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Taconite Harbor, and he gleefully rattles off the total: more than 58 million tons of taconite, coal and grain.

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