NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Report details how new technology could help new Soo Locks efficiency

Creative Commons

A new report details how the Soo Locks can update its marine technology to improve ship transfers from one lake to the next.

Small ships that pass through the Soo Locks usually get tied down, or moored, to keep the ship stable when water levels shift in one of the locks

Currently small crews of people are charged with tying the ships down and guiding them through the lock.

David Closs is one of the co-authors of the technology report. He said travel times through the Soo Locks will improve by nearly an hour with an automated mooring system and improve safety conditions.

"Not having people or as many people having to hold the lines and particularly in the windy environment or in the fall and spring environment when things are icy and wet. It does get dangerous," said Closs.

The report also found that stakeholders in the Soo Locks are not interested in implementing an artificial intelligence communication system. They said it won’t improve efficiency through the Locks

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