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  • March

    Corps lowers impact to fish spawning near Soo Locks

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (March 5, 2021) - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officials will use dry blasting during New Lock at the Soo construction to avoid or drastically minimize impacts to fish larvae and adult fish spawning near the Soo Locks. The Soo Locks on the St. Marys River allow vessels to navigate the 21 ft elevation change between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. A new Poe-sized lock being built will provide necessary redundancy in the Great Lakes Navigation System’s critical infrastructure. To build the New Lock, deepening the channel on the upstream side (west) of the Poe lock is necessary. Dredging is scheduled to occur in 2021-2022. Drilling and blasting are required to fragment the bedrock and concrete for dredging.

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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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • The Soo Locks open as 2020 shipping season begins

    DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opened today Monday, March 25, marking the beginning of the 2020 Great Lakes shipping season. The up-bound Motor Vessel H. Lee White, 704-foot long freighter, is the first ship to enter the Poe Lock. It is coming from Sturgeon Bay, Michigan and headed to Superior, Wisconsin to load cargo.

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