Sault Ste. Marie locks open for spring

The first freighter of the year comes through the Soo Locks. (Courtesy @VisitTheSault - March 25, 2015)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Another cargo shipping season has begun on the upper Great Lakes.

Authorities say that the navigational lock complex at Sault Ste. Marie opened Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. after being closed since Jan. 15 for routine maintenance.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates Soo Locks on the St. Marys River. They lift and lower vessels moving between Lakes Huron and Superior and are one of 16 locks on the Great Lakes.

Area Engineer Kevin Sprague says there’s still a lot of thick ice on both sides of the locks. He says the Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw is leading a convoy of ships to pick up iron ore at Lake Superior ports.

Sprague says icebreaking work probably will be needed for another month.

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Online:

American Great Lakes Ports Association

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