Boat nerds are singing, “Happy Days Are Here Again.” The Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s River, which allow vessels to navigate the 21-foot difference in water levels between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, opened at 12:01 a.m. today, March 25, for the 2013 shipping season.
The observation deck at the locks in Sault Ste. Marie was open specially from 11 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday for freighter fans who wanted to watch the longest ship on the Great Lakes lock through.
The Paul R. Tregurtha was the first of the approximately 5,000 vessels, from pleasure craft to “lakers” and ocean-going “salties,” that will pass through the locks this season.
The Poe Lock and the MacArthur Lock, which are the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, have been closed since January 15 for annual maintenance.
Check out the Corps Facebook page to see a photo of the Tregurtha locking through the Poe Lock at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The Tregurtha, the “Queen of the Lakes,” is 1,013′ long and 105-feet wide; the Poe Lock is 110-feet wide.
Plan Ahead Tips:
- The Soo Locks Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, May 12 through mid-October
- Keep an eye on the action with the Soo Locks webcam
- The Soo Locks Boat Tours, which give the public the experience of “locking through” the waterway, begin scheduled tours May 12 and run through October 15. Contact the company for possible pre-season trips beginning May 1 (call for details).
- Engineers Day, the annual Soo Locks open house, is 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, June 28
For more about:
- Soo Locks activity follow the Sault Boat Watcher blog
- Great Lakes freighters and shipping traffic check out the Boat Nerd website
Visitor Info Clicks: