2017-04-08 / News

Soo Locks Open, 2017 Shipping Season Begins

The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie opened Saturday, March 25, marking the beginning of the 2017 Great Lakes shipping season.

“The upbound motor vessel Stewart J. Cort, a U.S. flagged 1,000-foot freighter, was the first ship to enter the Poe Lock,” said Kevin Sprague, area engineer at the Sault Area Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. “It was followed by the downbound motor vessel Phillip R. Clarke.”

The Soo Locks were closed January 15, and underwent repairs and maintenance during the 10-week-long winter shutdown. Work was performed replacing embedded gate anchorages and finalizing the switchover to a new hydraulic operating system on the Poe Lock. Other efforts included sandblasting, structural repairs, and painting MacArthur Lock dewatering bulkheads and several other smaller projects.

The MacArthur Lock, located on the south side of the Poe Lock, will continue undergoing maintenance until mid-April.

The Detroit District operates and maintains the Soo Locks along with 94 harbors and connecting channels on lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair, and the portion of Lake Erie that borders the state of Michigan. Located on the St. Marys River, the locks have been a part of the Corps’ navigation mission since 1881.

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