Soo Locks open despite harsh winter weather conditions and ice
The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opened Tuesday, initiating the start of the 2014 Great Lakes shipping season. The locks closed Jan. 15 and reopened this week, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Thanks to our hard-working Soo Area Office employees for braving harsh winter weather conditions we are able to open for the 2014-2015 shipping season,” said Lt. Col. Robert J. Ells, district engineer. “Maintaining and operating the Soo Locks is one of the most important responsibilities of the Detroit District. “The locks serve as a critical conduit for transporting commodities as part of an important waterborne transportation network, reaching deep into the continent.”
The locks underwent critical repairs and maintenance during the winter shutdown. Crews have battled the elements to put the Poe Lock back into operation at the scheduled time. The MacArthur Lock, located beside the Poe, will continue undergoing maintenance for several weeks. The locks and Soo Locks crew will be available for service despite extremely heavy ice on the St. Marys River that has delayed the arrival of the first Cargo Vessel.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system that includes 94 harbors and the Great Lakes connecting channels that join lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.