Soo Locks open despite bitter winter weather conditions with abundant snow and ice

Published March 25, 2015
DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opened on-time Wednesday, March 25, initiating the start of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season.


The Edwin H. Gott, a 1,004-foot freighter, was the first ship to enter the Poe Lock at 11:05 a.m.., said Jason Wojnaroski, lockmaster. It was followed by the Roger Blough also going upbound.

"We are truly proud of our hard-working men and women at the Soo Area Office for braving harsh winter weather conditions to complete critical maintenance at the locks allowing us to open for the 2015-2016 shipping season." said Lt. Col. Michael L. Sellers, district engineer. "The Soo Locks, as one of the most important responsibilities of the Detroit District, serves as a critical conduit for transporting commodities as part of an important waterborne transportation network, reaching across the world," said Sellers.

The locks were closed on Jan. 15 and 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 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.

For more details, contact Lynn Rose, Detroit District public affairs officer, 313-226-4680. Detroit District photos are available on FaceBook:

and Flickr:


Lynn Rose

Release no. 15-004