Monday, July 3, 2017

Soo Locks on the St. Marys River


If a view is looking upstream, then we generally see some of the bridges over the St. Marys River.

A time-lapse video from a boat going upbound (source).

Jason Pechette posted
American Mariner in the soo locks and Joe Block waiting

Public Domain from PostBulletin
The Algoma Guardian enters the MacArthur Lock
Emmet McNamara posted
Coming in
[Note the tugboat near the bow that is shoving the boat up against the lock's guide wall. Since we can see the bridges, this boat is downbound.]

Lock dimensions:
  • MacArthur Lock, 1943: 800' x 80' x 29.5'; this can handle salties, but not Lakers (Video from David Kaye)
  • Poe Lock, 1896: 800' x 100'
  • Poe Lock Rebuilt, 1968: 1200' x 110' x 32', this is the one the lakers must use. That length and width can also handle a 15-barge tow. But I suspect barges can't risk being on a Great Lake if a storm hits.
  • Davis lock, 1914: 1350' x 80' x 23.1'; light freighters, tour boats, and small craft when traffic warrants
  • Sabin Lock, 1919: same as Davis but it has been "mothballed."
Canada has a small lock that is used for tour and recreational boats.

Since 1986, the Davis and Sabin Locks are supposed to be replaced by one lock that is big enough to handle lakers. They broke ground on June 30, 2009. But it hasn't been funded. (Buying a spade for ground breaking is a lot cheaper than actually building the thing.)

Lukas Iron shared mlive2017
Soo Locks being eyed for Infrastructure upgrades? From Sault St Marie.Ontario..Will it lead to improved rail transportation?

A rendering showing the replacement of the Sabin and Davis with a
second Poe-sized lock. Courtesy of USACE
The replacement of the two unused locks by a $580 million second "laker" lock is on a list of 40 potential U.S. infrastructure "megaprojects." I expected a lot of iron ore and grain to be shipped through the locks, but I was surprised that coal is also shipped. It turns out it is coal from the Wyoming Basin that is transloaded to boats on the west end of Lake Superior. 70% of the freight through the Soo Locks uses the Poe lock.
Clarence Vautier posted
[Downbound boats in both the Poe and MacAurthor locks.]
A video of "Three footers in the Soo Harbor, Mesabi Miner, Paul R Tregurtha, Edgar B Speer on a beautiful summer day. Viewed from the Tower of History. 6-8-18"

A video of "Wilfred Sykes being lowered in the MacArthur Lock then leaving. 7-17-18
Time Lapse Video." There is also a sliver of a CSL boat entering the adjacent lock.

President’s Promise to Fix the Soo Locks Resonates With Sault Residents (source)

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