Contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District install a 23-foot-tall concrete shaft enclosure weighing approximately 120,000 pounds as part of the guard wall at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 2023.

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  • October

    New Lock at the Soo: Unlocking the Great Lakes

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District works on unlocking the Great Lakes by providing a much-needed resiliency at the Soo Locks with the construction of the New Lock at the Soo. The New Lock at the Soo will be the same dimensions as the Poe Lock, 1,200 feet long, 110 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Often called the “linchpin” of the Great Lakes navigation system, the Soo Locks are located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan between the upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Soo Locks enable bulk carrier vessels to safely bypass the swift-moving St. Marys River rapids where the water drops 21 feet over bedrock in a three-quarter mile stretch. The St. Marys River is the only connecting waterway between Lakes Superior and the lower Great Lakes. Before the first lock was constructed in 1798, trade canoes had to be unloaded and portaged around the rapids, taking roughly six weeks to complete. Today, the locks operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 42 weeks of the year allowing government, commercial and private vessels to transit safely and more efficiently.
  • 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.
Chick Lock

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