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  • Soo Locks Closing for Seasonal Repair, Maintenance

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to all marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15, or until commercial traffic ceases, through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform seasonal critical maintenance. Federal regulation (33 CFR 207.440) establishes the operating season based on the feasibility of vessels operating during typical Great Lakes ice conditions. “Every year, the Corps of Engineers uses the non-navigation winter period to perform maintenance and keep the Soo Locks operating,” Maintenance Branch Chief Nicholas Pettit said. “The Detroit District team works long hours in extreme conditions to complete a significant amount of maintenance during this annual closure period. The work they perform is unique, especially given the harsh northern Michigan winter conditions they work in.”
  • MacArthur Lock closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    AULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Soo Locks’ MacArthur Lock will close for the Navigation Season 7 a.m. Dec. 17, 2023, through April 24, 2024, to perform dam safety inspections and routine maintenance. The Poe Lock will remain open until Jan. 15, 2024, or until commercial traffic ceases, whichever occurs first. The Soo Locks operating season is fixed by federal regulation (33 CFR 207.440). “The 800-foot-long MacArthur Lock, built in 1943, is 80 years old; the maintenance period is critical to keeping the lock in operation during the shipping season,” Maintenance Branch Chief Nicholas Pettit said.
  • Soo Locks Visitor Center closes for 2023 season

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes the Soo Locks Visitor Center in Canal Park at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 for the 2023 season. Visitor Center hours for the remainder of Oct. are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The park is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for the month of October and will transition to winter hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) on Nov. 1. “The Visitor Center offered several new exhibits this summer to include a new interactive photo table, panels highlighting careers and workers at the Soo Locks and new rugs that show the existing and future Soo Locks facility,” Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs said. “We listen to our visitors and create exhibits that reflect their interests.”
  • New Lock at the Soo to host public meeting for upcoming blasting activities

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District and New Lock at the Soo contractor Kokosing Alberici Traylor, LLC (KAT) will host an in-person and virtual public meeting 6 p.m., July 10, 2023, to inform the public of blasting activities needed for project construction. The Corps of Engineers contracted KAT to complete Phase 3 construction of the New Lock at the Soo. This work includes excavation and installation of a shaft and tunnel scheduled for this year. “The project team will blast as the means to fracture the existing bedrock to be excavated and removed,” Rachel Miller, New Lock Contracting Officer’s Representative said. “All blasting will be completed within the Corps of Engineers Soo Locks facility on the island north of the existing decommissioned Sabin Lock.”
  • New Lock at the Soo major construction continues

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Lock at the Soo project remains on schedule as major construction continues with phases 2 and 3 this season. Joint ventures Kokosing-Alberici (Upstream Approach Walls, Phase 2), and Kokosing, Alberici, Traylor (New Lock, Phase 3) have a busy construction season ahead of them. “Since resuming major construction this season, the Phase 2 contractor has placed 13 concrete caps, bringing the total caps placed to 68 and preparation for placement of new steel sheets, steel posts and concrete panel wall are in progress,” New Lock Senior Project Manager Mollie Mahoney said. “The Phase 3 contractor plans to focus on demolition of aging structures, extensive electrical work, bridge construction, and coffer dam construction to allow for dewatering.”
  • Soo Locks to open March 25 for 2023 shipping season

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Soo Project Office will open the Poe Lock, 12:01 a.m., March 25, marking the 2023 Great Lakes shipping season start. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical Great Lakes ice conditions. The Poe Lock closed January 16 to undergo critical repairs and maintenance during the 10 week-long winter shutdown. Maintenance crews performed a variety of critical tasks on the Poe Lock, including Gate 1 anchorage component repairs such as replacing concrete, Gate 1 lifting lugs and turning feet, underfloor drain system inspection, Gate 1 structural inspection for future replacement, Gate 3 inspection for structural repairs, gate jacking pedestal inspections, valve repairs, Gate 3 seal repairs and culvert intake grate repairs. The (miter) gates are the large gates at each end of the lock chamber. The gates open and close allowing ships to enter and leave the lock and prevent water from entering or exiting the lock while boats are lifted or lowered.
  • New Lock at the Soo to host follow-up public meeting for Hydro Plant tail race closing

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District will host an in-person public meeting 6 p.m., March 15, 2023, to follow-up on the closure of the Soo Locks Hydro Plant tail race during New Lock at the Soo construction. The Corps of Engineers has a preliminary closure plan for the upcoming season and would like to present the strategy for the 2023 construction season to ensure effective communication of closures with anglers and interested parties. The Corps of Engineers previously hosted a public meeting to discuss the Hydro Plant tail race closures April 20, 2022.
  • Soo Locks Engineers Day 2023, a multi-event occasion

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau, the United States Coast Guard, the Lake Superior State University Center for Freshwater Research and Education and the Craft Show are planning the 2023 Soo Locks Engineers Day for June 30. Visitors are welcome into the Soo Locks facility and across the MacArthur Lock 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 30. “Visitors will not be able to cross the Poe Lock this year due to ongoing New Lock at the Soo construction,” Operations Manager LeighAnn Ryckeghem said. “Visitors will be able to tour the first floor of the Administration Building and gates at the east and west ends of the MacArthur lock will be open for access.” The MacArthur Lock gate at the east end (downstream) of the facility will be available for visitors to enter, the MacArthur Lock gate at the west end (upstream) of the facility will be available for visitors exiting. Exceptions will be made for those with difficulty walking the distance of the lock.
  • Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15, or until commercial traffic ceases, through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform critical maintenance. Federal regulation establishes the operating season based on the feasibility of vessels operating during typical Great Lakes ice conditions. Every year, the Corps of Engineers uses the winter period to perform maintenance to keep the Soo Locks operating. The Detroit District team works long hours in extreme conditions to complete a significant amount of maintenance during this annual closure period. The work they perform is unique, especially given the harsh northern Michigan conditions they work in.
  • New Lock at the Soo reauthorized in WRDA 2022 at $3.219 billion

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District New Lock at the Soo Project in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is reauthorized in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2022 on Dec 23, 2022. The project reauthorization amount is $3.219 billion. An authorization sets how much money agencies and programs can receive, and how they should spend the money. This authorization makes it possible for the project to maintain efficient funding eligibility. Due to recent cost increases, the project cost was estimated to exceed the previously authorized spending limit. “With continued funding, the remaining construction work, valued at $794.5 million could be awarded over the next three years allowing the project to stay on schedule and be completed in 2030.” Deputy District Engineer Kevin McDaniels said.