Poe Lock to Open Next Week for 2022 Shipping Season

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Soo Area Office is opening the Poe Lock on March 25, officially starting the 2022 Great Lakes shipping season.

The Poe Lock closed Jan. 16 to undergo repairs and maintenance during the 10 week-long winter shutdown.

Maintenance crews performed a variety of tasks on the Poe Lock, including hydraulic steel structure inspections, miter gate bottom girder structural repair and seal replacement, miter gate pintle concrete repairs, valve machinery repairs and dewatering system maintenance.

“Crews also performed a wide range of other maintenance tasks including fender timber replacements on the piers, electrical and mechanical systems inspections and preventative maintenance on both Poe and MacArthur Locks and floating plant maintenance,” Maintenance Branch Chief LeighAnn Ryckeghem said.

Contractors also worked on the Poe Lock upstream primary gate, including blasting and coating.

“We worked hard to accelerate work up-front during our annual closure, with crews working against a very tight schedule to make repairs in a very short time,” Area Engineer Kevin Sprague said. “Due to the hard work of our maintenance crews during heavy snowfall and cold temperatures, we were able to accomplish all required work on schedule.”

Corps of Engineers crews should complete Poe Lock re-watering on March 21. This supports U.S. Coast Guard breakers preparing the upper river shipping channel and breaking out Lake Superior Ports for the navigation season opening.

“We welcome visitors into the park for the 2022 Soo Locks season opening. The park and viewing platform will open March 24 at 11:30 p.m. and close March 25 at 1:30 a.m. The Visitor Center will open March 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for an open house,” said Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to open the Soo Locks Visitor Center May 8.

For anyone not able to come for the opening of the Soo Locks, there will also be a Facebook livestream of the first ship on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page, which you can find by clicking here.

The MacArthur Lock will remain closed until late April.