Season ends today

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U.S. Coast Guard pictures courtesy: K. MacNally

With the help of a U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker, Great Lakes Freighters continued the trek through the Neebish Channel of the St. Mary’s River Friday, January 13th.

Neebish Island, Michigan, U.S.A. and Sailor’s Encampment, St. Joseph Island, Ontario, Canada seem a mere stone’s throw from each other along this stretch of the St. Mary’s River. Freighters moving east along Neebish Channel make a wide westerly turn at Stribling Point, St. Joseph Island’s northern-most point, heading to the North Channel, L. Huron.

Neebish Island is also known as Rains Island, and is made up of two parts; Little Neebish and Big Neebish.

Media release. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

20170113_145550‘The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces the seasonal closing of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on January 15. The Locks will undergo maintenance and repairs until the Navigation Season re-opens on March 25.

“The Soo Locks are critical to the Great Lakes Navigation System and we have a tremendous team that operates and maintains them daily,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer. “This important maintenance and repair period is our highest priority, and is vital to the next shipping season. This work keeps the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation.”

20170113_145615Planned winter maintenance work includes: Poe Lock hydraulic system testing and final commissioning, Poe Lock anchorage replacements and MacArthur Lock dewatering bulkhead weld repairs and coating replacement. Both locks are scheduled to reopen on March 25.

The MacArthur Lock closed for season December 19.

U.S. Coast Guard pictures courtesy: K. MacNally
U.S. Coast Guard pictures courtesy: K. MacNally

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.’