Soo Locks to close Monday

U.S. Coast Guard
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SOO LOCKS (WJRT) - (01/13/18) - The U.S. Coast Guard spent some time Friday freeing the ship, Burns Harbor.

It was stuck in Whitefish Bay and the St. Marys River.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw has been working to get ships through the Soo Locks prior to the seasonal closure, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15.

The shipping chanel will be closed until March 25. Here's a look at the press release about the closure:

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the seasonal closing of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., from Jan. 15 through March 25. The Corps will use this time to perform critical maintenance on the lock structures.

"It is vitally important that we keep the infrastructure at the Soo Locks in good working order," said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer. "The district puts a high priority on keeping the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation."

While closed to navigation, crews will be busy with a variety of maintenance projects on both the Poe and MacArthur Locks in preparation for another busy season.

Planned winter maintenance work includes: Poe Lock Miter and Quoin Block Replacement, Poe Lock Gate 2 Embedded Anchorage Replacement, Poe Lock Gate 3 Cylinder Seal Replacement, North Poe Lock Valve Maintenance, MacArthur Lock Embedded Anchorage Replacement, MacArthur Lock Filling Valve Seal Replacement, and MacArthur Lock Bevel Gear Replacement.

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 among the most frequently carried commodities. Opened in 1969, the Poe Lock is 1,200 feet long. The MacArthur Lock was opened in 1943 and is 800 feet long.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 95 harbors, including the Great Lakes Connecting Channels that join lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie."

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