Soo Locks closed for the season – will undertake winter maintenance

Published Jan. 14, 2016

DETROIT – (Jan. 14, 2016) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., will close to navigation 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. Michael Sellers, 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 the highest priority for our district."

Planned winter maintenance work includes: Poe Lock Hydraulic System Installation, Poe Lock Anchorage Repairs, Dewatering Bulkhead Coating Replacement and work on the MacArthur Lock Electrical Modernization. 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 Lock is 1,200 feet long. The MacArthur Lock was built in 1943 and is 800 feet long.

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 Bill Peoples, public affairs officer, 313-226-4680, or Dave Wright, Operations manager, 313-226-3573.

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Bill Peoples

Release no. 011614-01