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New Soo Lock project nears the end of phase 1

Soo locks project photo.jpg
Creative Commons

Construction of the new Soo Lock at Sault St. Marie is nearing the end of phase one of a project that has taken nearly two years to complete.

The mission of this phase was to break up bedrock and other thick materials at the bottom of the channel so vessels can pass through smoothly.

Rachel Miller is a Supervisory Engineer with the US Army Corp of Engineers in Sault St. Marie. She says all that is left to do is some housekeeping.

"What we're looking for really is making sure that the bedrock has been removed to 30 feet. We're not planning on going back and doing any further bedrock removal prior to putting that new locks in operation," said Miller.

Phase three is set to begin in the coming weeks. Phase three will be the most complex yet. But it remains unclear if the $800 million hole in the budget for the third phase will be filled in time for completion.

Currently, over 88% of commodity tonnage through the Soo Locks is restricted by vessel size to the Poe Lock.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.