New Lock at the Soo project in full swing

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has just released the latest update on their New Lock at the Soo project, saying that the works are proceeding according to schedule.

At the end of June, Trade West Construction – the contractor for the New Lock at the Soo project’s upstream channel deepening – installed bulkheads on the Unit 10 Sluiceway in preparation for the deepening of the eastern end of the approach channel.

The bulkheads will prevent heavy silt and debris, loosened during deepening/dredging, from entering the turbines of the Unit 10 Powerhouse.

The Soo Locks are situated on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and allow vessels to transit the 21 foot elevation change at the St. Marys Falls Canal.

Over 85% of commodity tonnage through the Soo Locks is restricted by vessel size to the Poe Lock.

This new lock project will construct a second Poe-sized lock (110′ by 1,200′) on the site of the existing decommissioned Davis and Sabin locks.  

According to a 2015 Department of Homeland Security study on the impact of an unexpected Soo Locks closure, the Soo Locks are nationally critical infrastructure and the reliability of this critical node in the Great Lakes Navigation System is essential to U.S. manufacturing and National Security.

Photo: USACE

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