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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers give update of 2nd phase in new Soo Lock project

UPDATE 9/7/23 5:30 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave an update on the construction of a new Poe-sized lock in Sault Ste. Marie Thursday. They say work is progressing and it is in the second of three phases.

The new lock will replace the existing Davis and Sabin Locks. This project is expected to cost nearly $1.2 billion.


Phase one of the project wrapped up last August, and right now in the second phase, crews are rehabbing approach walls of the new lock, installing new lighting and other improvements. These should be done by next summer.

Construction of the 1,200 foot lock is expected to bring in more than 1,200 jobs on a yearly basis.

The entire project should be finished by 2030.

6/9/23 10:50 a.m.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Lock at the Soo project remains on schedule as major construction continues with phases 2 and 3 this season.

Joint ventures Kokosing-Alberici (Upstream Approach Walls, Phase 2), and Kokosing, Alberici, Traylor (New Lock, Phase 3) have a busy construction season ahead of them.

“Since resuming major construction this season, the Phase 2 contractor has placed 13 concrete caps, bringing the total caps placed to 68 and preparation for placement of new steel sheets, steel posts and concrete panel wall are in progress,” New Lock Senior Project Manager Mollie Mahoney said. “The Phase 3 contractor plans to focus on demolition of aging structures, extensive electrical work, bridge construction, and coffer dam construction to allow for dewatering.”

Phase 3 excavation work will include blasting activities, which will be communicated with stakeholders as blasting activities get closer.


“Beginning May 30, the Hydro Plant tailrace closed to recreational boaters. The normal schedule for the tailrace is: closed Mondays at 6 a.m. through Saturdays at 6 p.m. and open Saturdays at 6 p.m. through Mondays at 6 a.m.” New Lock Chief Mick Awbrey said. “The closure is necessary to ensure the safety of all boaters and marine construction workers as large barges, cranes and construction boats will be working in the area.”

Phase 1 included deepening the upstream approach to the New Lock from 24 feet to 30 feet deep so modern vessels can approach the New Lock at the Soo and concluded in August 2022, under budget and ahead of schedule.

Phase 2 includes rehabilitating the upstream approach walls to stabilize the existing approach walls allowing modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the New Lock at the Soo. The estimated completion date for Phase 2 is summer 2024.

Phase 3 includes demolishing the existing Sabin Lock, excavation of bedrock, constructing the New Lock at the Soo chamber walls and floor, fabrication and installation of miter gates, installation of mechanical and electrical systems, installation of the innovative hands-free mooring system, rehabilitating downstream approach walls and constructing a new pump well. The estimated completion date for Phase 3 is summer 2030.


“The Detroit District is pleased to continue work with both joint venture contractors on Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the New Lock at the Soo,” said Lt. Col. Brett Boyle, Detroit District Commander. “We recently had a partnering meeting with Phase 2 and 3 contractors and are confident this project will continue safely and on time.”

For more information about the New Lock at the Soo project, visit

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