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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.
  • Army Corps proposing temporary project office space in Canal Park

    DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comments through January 13, 2021 on its proposal to place temporary office space in Canal Park on the Soo Locks property in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The proposed one-story, single modular structure, consisting of multiple pre-engineered structures linked together, will house Corps Integrated Project Office (IPO) employees overseeing the New Lock at the Soo project construction. The $1 billion lock construction project could take up to 10 years to complete, according to IPO Resident Office Project Manager Isaac Freel. “We’re proposing to place the offices near the park entrance,” Freel said. “This location provides readily available access to sewer, water and electric. It also provides proximity to the Soo Area Office and the project site, which will greatly facilitate communication and project oversight.”
  • 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.
  • AZCON Slip GLRI clean-up complete

    The St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) is one step closer to delisting following completion of a contaminated sediment clean-up project at AZCON/Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Slip November 12. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)-funded project removed 850 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and capped an additional 55,000 cubic yards using a cap comprised of clean dredge material from the federal navigation channel and armoring stone to protect it from erosion. “By beneficially reusing the dredged material from the navigation channel, the team was able to achieve remedial objectives, limit waste generation and decrease the environmental impact,” said Amanda Meyer, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District.
  • Army Corps of Engineers holding public hearing for Enbridge Line 5 tunnel permit request

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold an online public hearing 1-4 p.m., December 7, 2020, to gather public comments on a permit request for a proposed Enbridge Line 5 pipeline tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. The online hearing and written comment period provide a second opportunity for the public to provide information for consideration in evaluating Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership’s permit application to construct a pipeline tunnel under the bed of Lake Michigan. Written comments are being accepted through December 17, 2020. The Corps’ initial public notice was issued May 15, 2020, and that comment period ended July 14, 2020. A tunnel constructed under the Straits of Mackinac requires a Corps permit, and the Corps is reviewing the application under the authority of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
  • Army Corps of Engineers waives day use fees at recreation areas in observance of Veterans Day

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today that it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide in observance of Veterans Day, November 11.
  • 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.