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  • Soo Locks upgrading park’s lock model displays

    DETROIT- Soo Locks visitors will see more than $100,000 in improved lock model displays in the coming years thanks to local partner support and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Handshake Partnership Program. Currently, the park features two original 3-D models dating back to 1893 and 1912, showing locks built on the facility over 100 years ago. The models sit in concrete and glass cases with cracked panes and openings in the bases allowing air, moisture and insects to get inside. The oldest model was built to test the original Poe Lock plans in 1893 as evidenced by a photo discovered by Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs while working with historic photos. “I was doing some research when I found a photo dated March 1893 of the workmen posed with the model of the original Poe Lock, which I recognized from the park,” Briggs said. “I am sure this model was finished shortly after the picture was taken since one of the workmen is still holding a paint brush.”
  • FishPass project to begin construction

    DETROIT – A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor is set to commence construction on the FishPass Project in Traverse City, Michigan the week of January 18. The contractor will begin by installing fencing, removing trees and preparing the site. “This milestone represents years of hard work from many dedicated partners,” said Marty Colburn, City Manager of Traverse City. “We ask the community to be patient with our construction partners as this exciting project advances. Soon, there will be dedicated viewing sites set up for the public to watch FishPass take shape.”
  • Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    DETROIT- The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15 through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform critical maintenance. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical ice conditions. Every year, the Corps uses the winter period to perform maintenance to keep the Soo Locks operating. The Soo Area Office 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.
  • High water levels and wave events increase safety hazards

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges caution around Great Lake piers, breakwaters and jetties, particularly during times of high wind and wave events. Many accidents and incidents near harbor structures occur during the turbulent weather season late in the year and higher than normal water levels pose an added threat. The lakeshore attracts local residents and visitors alike and some may not be aware of the powerful impacts that strong winds, storms and high water levels can bring. Dangers of High Water Levels, Waves. The Great Lakes are experiencing higher than normal water levels, which bring safety hazards such as submerged breakwaters, dangerous rip currents and electric shock risks.
  • Virtual event will celebrate FishPass project kick off

    FishPass project construction in Traverse City, Michigan, will kick off with a virtual groundbreaking ceremony October 24. This final phase of the Boardman River Ecosystem Restoration Project is primarily funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and led by the Great Lakes Commission in partnership with the City of Traverse City, Fisheries and Oceans of Canada, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided our agencies continued opportunities to implement sustainable projects throughout the Great Lakes Region,” said Carl Platz, Great Lakes Program Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “The knowledge we gain from FishPass will not only be utilized throughout the Great Lakes, but it will likely be applied across the nation as well."
  • New Lock moves forward with Phase 2 contract award

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announce the New Lock at the Soo second phase construction contract is awarded to Kokosing Alberici LLC of Westerville, Ohio. The much-anticipated mega-project will take three phases to construct. Kokosing Alberici will receive more than $111 million to complete phase two. This contract will stabilize the existing approach walls, allowing modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock. Construction will begin in spring 2021 and take about two years to complete. "The Corps looks forward to beginning construction on the upstream approach walls next spring, and we continue to work hard to maintain the pace and meet all milestones in bringing our nation's New Lock at the Soo to fruition,” said Detroit District Commander Lt. Col. Scott Katalenich.
  • Detroit District awards contract for maintenance at Soo Locks

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces a contract award to replace aging equipment on the MacArthur Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The more than $7 million contract was awarded to Ryba Marine Construction Co. The contract (award number W911XK20C0020) was for $ $7,276,650.00 to replace the World War II-era tainter valves for the MacArthur Lock. Tainter valves are used to control the flow of water used for raising and lowering the water level in the lock during a lockage. The MacArthur Lock has two sets of tainter valves, one upstream set and one downstream set. “The Corps takes pride in performing maintenance to keep its existing facilities operational for long durations, while simultaneously planning for replacement and renewal as required to ensure the locks remain a resilient link in the Great Lakes Navigation System,” said Kevin Sprague, area engineer, Soo Area Office.
  • Michigan company to dredge Ontonagon Harbor

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, awarded a contract for Ontonagon Harbor maintenance dredging about 140 miles east of Duluth, Minnesota, on the south shore of Lake Superior. USACE awarded a maintenance dredging contract for Ontonagon Harbor in August to MCM Marine Inc., out of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The contract (award number W911XK20C0016) was for $725,500 to dredge 84,000 cubic yards of material from Ontonagon Harbor. Material from the dredging sites will be placed east of the harbor to nourish the shoreline. This will help address issues of beach erosion and lake encroachment, especially during the current period of high water.
  • Corps’ Detroit office awards dredging contract for Holland Harbor

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, recently awarded a contract for dredging in western Michigan, on Lake Michigan. The Corps awarded a maintenance dredging contract for Holland (Outer) Harbor in June to Luedtke Engineering Company from Frankfort, Michigan. The contract (award number W911 XK20C0012) was for more than $455,000 to dredge almost 49,000 cubic yards of material from Holland (Outer) Harbor. Material from the site will be placed near the shoreline in the most landward eight foot depth starting north of the breakwater. “This important work will keep the shipping channel open as part of the Great Lakes Navigation System as an economically and environmentally viable means of transporting commodities,” said Bob Jarema, project manager.
  • Multiple river dredging contracts awarded

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, recently awarded contracts for maintenance dredging of the Detroit River, Saginaw River and St. Clair River all in Michigan. The contracts were separately awarded to Morrish-Wallace Construction Inc., of Cheboygan, Michigan, (d.b.a.) Ryba Marine Construction. These dredging projects help maintain the Great Lakes navigational channel to keep cargo moving – products like iron ore, limestone, coal and cement.