Soo Locks open; 2017 shipping season underway

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan opened March 25, marking the beginning of the 2017 Great Lakes shipping season.

Upbound Stewart J. Cort, a U.S.-flagged 1,000-foot freighter, was the first ship to enter the Poe Lock, followed by the downbound Phillip R. Clarke.

“Navigation is the primary mission of the Detroit District and the Soo Locks is an essential component of the Great Lakes Navigation System,” said Lt. Col. Dennis P. Sugrue, District Engineer, Detroit District. “Thanks to our entire dedicated district team in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for successfully completing another massive winter work program in order to ensure reliability of this critical Great Lakes connection.”

The locks were closed by Jan. 15 and underwent critical repairs and maintenance during the 10 week winter shutdown. Extensive work was performed replacing embedded gate anchorages and finalizing the switchover to a new hydraulic operating system on the Poe Lock. Other major 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, will continue undergoing maintenance until mid-April.

Detroit District photos are available on Facebook:

Maritime Editorial