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Soo Locks re-open for the season — USACE Detroit District “fully operational” despite COVID-19

The up-bound Motor Vessel H. Lee White, 704-foot long freighter, is the first ship to enter the Poe Lock during the 2020 shipping season. It's coming from Sturgeon Bay, Michigan and headed to Superior, Wisconsin to load cargo.

The Soo Locks reopened Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie, beginning the 2020 shipping season on the Great Lakes.

The Locks have been officially closed since January 15.

According to a press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, repairs and maintenance were performed during the 10-week winter shutdown.

“Enabling navigation on the Great Lakes by maintaining and operating these locks are the District's most critical tasks," said engineer Lt. Col. Greg Turner in the press release.

The Detroit District says their agency remains “fully operational” through the COVID-19 pandemic, using “physical distance, flexible work schedules, telework, technology and virtual meetings.”

The first ship to come through the largest of the locks will be the Motor Vessel H. Lee White, travelling from Sturgeon Bay, Michigan to Superior, Wisconsin.

Kaye LaFond
Kaye is an alumnus of Michigan Tech's environmental engineering program. She got her start making maps for the Traverse City-Based water news organization Circle of Blue, and, since then, she's been pretty devoted to science communication and data visualization.