Soo locks

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Soo Locks had to be shut down for several hours Sunday after a Canadian ship hit a pier.

MLive says the 736-foot Atlantic Huron was approaching the Poe lock just before 3 a.m. Sunday when it lost power. The crew dropped anchor but the vessel struck the west center pier. 

The crash damaged the ship and the pier, but no injuries were reported and no pollution was observed in the water. 

The locks were shut down from 2:50 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. The freighter was towed to an Ontario dock. 

Divers are assessing damage to the pier. 

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Construction on a new Soo lock has begun.

The Army Corps of Engineers says equipment was moved to the site a week ago and the upstream approach to the locks in the north canal will be deepened within the next month. This first phase of the project will facilitate the construction of a new, Poe-sized lock in place of the existing Sabin and Davis locks.

The work is expected to be completed by November 2021.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the first phase of construction on a new Soo lock to a Nevada company.

Trade West Construction will get $53 million for the first phase of construction, which involves deepening the upstream approach channel to 30 feet. The project will begin this spring and take about two years to finish.

Phases two and three of the lock project are still in the design phase. They include rehabilitation of the upstream approach walls and construction of the new lock chamber.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The Soo Locks are closed to navigation until March 25. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will use this time to perform critical maintenance on the lock structures. The Poe Lock will be dewatered while repairs are made. It will also undergo a formal periodic inspection. The MacArthur lock has repairs partially completed to the gate operating machinery. Additional work taking place includes inspection of gate anchorages, electronics updates and operating shelter maintenance.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--   The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that includes $75.3 million in funding for the Soo Locks.

The money is included in a year-end government appropriations bill. It would be used to begin the design and construction of a new, Poe-sized lock. Currently the Poe is the only lock large enough to accommodate larger vessels on the Great Lakes.

Additional funding will need to be appropriated annually. Officials say the entire project could cost close to a billion dollars.


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — A shipping lock that enables cargo vessels to move between Lake Huron and Lake Superior has closed temporarily for repairs.
Beverly McCready of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was closed around 8 a.m. EDT Monday and is expected to reopen at 6:30 p.m.
She says concrete has eroded on a sill beneath one of the lock's gates. Crews are installing concrete and steel plates as a stopgap measure and will do a complete fix this winter.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer began a three-day tour of the Upper Peninsula Tuesday with a stop in Sault Ste. Marie.

Whitmer has been looking at infrastructure around the state, highlighting the need for funding to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Five Democratic governors of states in the Great Lakes region want candidates in next year's presidential election to support a plan for protecting their freshwater resources.
     Led by Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, the governors Monday proposed a six-point platform that seeks increases in federal spending on water treatment infrastructure and environmental cleanups.

Poe lock turns 50

Jun 27, 2019

SAULT STE. MARIE (MPRN)--   Sault Ste. Marie is celebrating the Poe lock’s birthday. Officials say Michigan's largest lock turns 50 this year.

The lock was originally built in 1896, but the one visitors see today was built in 1969. Officials say the lock was rebuilt to be larger and deeper to move modern freighters through the Great Lakes.

Currently, the Poe transports 89 percent of boats that pass through the Soo locks. Officials say the lock also transports nearly all the iron ore used in the country.

A discussion with Congressman Jack Bergman on a series of Federal efforts underway in Michigan's First Congressional District. The construction of a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie an increased rural internet connectivity and the clean-up efforts of PFA’s will be some of the topics.  Joining the panel are media guest Sophie Erber from WLUC-TV 6 and Lisa Bowers from the Marquette Mining Journal.