DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are closed to navigation as of Jan. 15 to undergo annual maintenance and repairs.
– The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are closed to navigation as of Jan. 15 to undergo annual maintenance and repairs.
“The Soo Locks is vitally important to the Great Lakes Navigation System and it is incumbent upon us to keep this infrastructure in good working order” said Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer. “Our dedicated and hard-working crews at the Soo Area Office perform important maintenance and repair work under strict time constraints and adverse weather conditions to prepare the locks for the next shipping season. This work to keep the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation is a high priority for our district.”
Planned winter maintenance activities include installation of new hydraulic pump units for control of the Poe Lock operating gates and restressing of tension controls on Gate 1 of the Poe Lock. New gate anchorages will be installed on the operating gates and concrete repairs made to the emptying/filling valve bulkhead slots on the MacArthur Lock. Extensive repair and replacement of gate and approach wall fendering throughout the lock complex will also be undertaken. Once winter maintenance is complete, the locks will reopen in March.
More than 4,500 vessels carrying up to 80 million tons of cargo maneuver through the locks annually. Iron ore, coal and limestone are among the most frequently carried commodities. Built in 1968, the Poe is 1,200 feet long. The MacArthur was built in 1943 and is 800 feet long.
The last commercial vessel to traverse through the locks for the 2013/2014 shipping season was the barge James L. Kuber with the tug Victory at 1:50 p.m. Jan. 15. The James L. Kuber is carrying 25,913 tons of iron ore to a Detroit port.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 95 harbors, including the Great Lakes Connecting Channels that join lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.
For more details, please contact the Lynn Rose, public affairs officer, 313-226-4680, or Dave Wright, Operations Manager, 313-226-3573.
Photos can be found on our Flickr page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/detroit_district