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MacArthur Lock opening after seasonal maintenance, extended repair


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The Soo Locks' MacArthur Lock has opened to marine traffic after completing a critical repair that took longer than expected. The lock was set to reopen in late April but replacing the almost 79-year-old tainter valve machinery, original to the lock, caused the closure's 59-day extension.

According to Soo Locks Construction Chief Nicholas Pettit this critical replacement means the MacArthur Lock will continue operating long into the future, according to Pettit.

The $7.2 million contract was awarded in August 2020 with the long lead time needed to manufacture the mechanical components. The MacArthur Lock closed December 15, 2021, for seasonal maintenance, including the tainter valve machinery project.

More than 4,500 vessels, carrying up to 80 million tons of cargo, maneuver through the locks annually. Iron ore, coal, wheat and limestone are the most frequently carried commodities.

Hans Ahlström is the host of several programs including the daily musical variety show Weekday, the mostly straight ahead jazz show Night Studio, the self explanatory Blues Today, and the eclectic Sound Spectrum. You can also hear Hans as the local host of NPR's All Things Considered news magazine. He also helps manage Public Radio 90's web content, interviews local and visiting writers and artists, works with NMU student interns, and writes the occasional news story.