WUOMFM

Soo Locks

USACOE

When we think of Michigan’s contribution to the war effort during the Second World War, most think of the Arsenal of Democracy, of Rosie the Riveters helping build thousands and thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers at Willow Run.

But the U.S. war effort also depended mightily on the Soo Locks, to the point where it feared a Nazi attack on the locks.

The Calumet
shipwrecklog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The U.S. Coast Guard says a Great Lakes freighter has run aground in the St. Mary's River, which runs between the U.S. and Canada along Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Coast Guard says the 629-foot (192-meter) U.S. vessel named Calumet left a steel facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and was heading to its next port when it ran aground late Wednesday near Sugar Island. No injuries were reported.

Steve Carmody / MICHIGAN RADIO

With so much happening around Michigan and in Washington D.C., Stateside invited U.S. Sen. Gary Peters to stop by to explain what's important to him and to Michigan right now. The Senator has a number of legislative items he's working on for the state and for the Great Lakes, but he also took the time to talk about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony and President Trump’s tweets.

Soo Locks
Jim Newsome / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s congressional delegation is getting ready to fight for a big piece of federal spending on infrastructure. They want roughly $1 billion to upgrade the shipping lanes of the Soo Locks.

“There’s been no comprehensive improvement in the locks in over 50 years, and we are concerned we are on borrowed time,” said  Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The locks in Sault Sainte Marie don’t have enough room to handle modern, larger ships. The locks also have a lot of aging components. 

U.S ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

DETROIT (AP) - President Donald Trump's spending plan for 2018 includes $77.6 million for operation and maintenance of Great Lakes shipping channels and related infrastructure, including the lock system at Sault Ste. Marie.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Detroit District oversees operations in Michigan and parts of Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.

  The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

Auchter's Art for August 19, 2016.
John Auchter / www.auchtoon.com

There is nothing quite as annoying as the overenthusiastic zeal that comes with the recently discovered — especially when it has been commonly known and readily accessible for years and years.

So I apologize in advance, but, OHMYGOSH, YOU GUYS! HAVE YOU SEEN THE SOO LOCKS?! THEY ARE AWESOMINGLY AMAZING!!! 

Last month, I finally made my first visit to Sault Ste. Marie to see the Soo Locks.

Soo Locks
Jim Newsome / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder wants Congress to go to work now on finding money to upgrade the Soo locks – even though no one knows yet how much it’s going to cost.

Governor Snyder sent a letter to all 16 of Michigan’s members of Congress asking them to start laying the groundwork for the case to fund a renovation that includes adding a new lock that can fit large, modern freighters.

From the letter:

Soo Locks open for the season

Mar 25, 2016
The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
USACOE

The Soo Locks opened for the 2016 season Friday.

The locks, which allow ships to move between Lakes Superior and Huron, close in the winter for repairs. This year's improvements included a new hydraulic system, anchorage repairs, and replacing the de-watering bulkhead coating for the Poe Lock, according to a press release from The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership. 

Additionally, crews worked to modernize the MacArthur Lock's electrical system. MacArthur Lock closed for part of last summer because of unexpected repairs.