The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, is taking precautionary measures to protect its workforce, while also remaining committed to serving the nation during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The district has a plan in place for continuity of operations during a pandemic crisis such as COVID-19 and is prepared to respond to changes accordingly.
“Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of every member of our team, so we have taken appropriate measures to protect our work force from the current health crisis while ensuring continuity of operations,” said Lt. Col. Greg Turner, District Engineer, Detroit District. “We’re still at work for the nation.”
The district remains fully operational; leveraging flexible work schedules and maximizing telework, technology and virtual and teleconference meetings to keep projects moving forward. At this time, however, large events and public meetings have been canceled or postponed, and the district’s two visitors centers (Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth, Minnesota and Soo Visitor Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) will remain closed until further notice.
The district continues to work with its local, county, state and federal partners on projects in its operating area in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
While practicing physical distancing, construction activities are ongoing. The district continues to monitor and fully staff its dams and other flood-risk management facilities, as well as conduct environmental monitoring and inspections to ensure its mission of providing public safety to local communities continues.
The Soo Locks, the district’s most critical mission supporting the Great Lakes and our nation, are scheduled to open March 25 to shipping traffic. As maintenance concludes, crews are preparing the locks for opening day. However, public events scheduled for the Soo Visitor Center during the opening have been canceled.
Additionally, the Corps’ Regulatory Program continues to evaluate permit requests. Applicants, consultants, agencies and the general public should use electronic communication to minimize potential disruptions or delays. If a Corps’ project manager has already been assigned, email them directly. To submit a permit request in Michigan, access the joint Corps/Michigan application at the following link: https://miwaters.deq.state.mi.us/miwaters/external/home
Direct general correspondence and inquiries to: Regadmin.LRE_REGADMIN@usace.army.mil
Information on the Detroit regulatory program may be found at: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/
In accordance with Department of Defense guidance released March 13, the district is limiting all official travel, including Permanent Change of Station and temporary duty assignments, from now to May 11. Exemptions may be granted for mission-essential travel.
The district continues to monitor the COVID-19 emergency situation and is coordinating with local, state and federal public health officials for updates. The district will provide additional information to the public as the situation warrants.