The Soo Locks will begin Closing

Maintenance and Winter Begin Closing the Soo Locks

DETROIT, MICH (WXYZ) - The Soo Locks will begin the winter shutdown this weekend.

At 7am Sunday morning, the MacArthur Lock will close.
The other larger lock, the Poe Lock, will continue to operate until January 15th.

The closure always occurs because of the difficulty the ships have in maneuvering the Great Lakes during the winter months. But, in this case, it's happening earlier to allow the crews to perform some routine maintenance.

The MacArthur Lock will remain closed until the spring. It was built in 1943.

There are actually 4 different locks that make up what we refer to as the Soo Locks. But, 2 of them, the Davis Lock and the Sabin Lock are too shallow to accommodate the new larger freighters. There is actually a plan to replace and build a new lock in their place. But, funding is still an issue.

Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. Mike Derosier says, "Our well-trained and dedicated Soo workforce is committed to operating the locks through the navigation season and diligently maintaining them." He adds that, "The locks are a vital asset for the transportation of raw materials and commodities that help energize our economy and provide jobs."

An average of 80 million tons of freight go through the Locks every year allowing approximately 4,200 ships to pass.

Normally, the Locks are closed between January 15th until March 25th. Unless, the weather is severe, in which case, the opening would be delayed.


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