Soo Locks prepare to close for the season at midnight Friday
The locks are not scheduled to reopen until March 25.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Soo Locks will be closing at midnight on Friday, Jan. 15, marking an end to Great Lakes shipping for another season.
With the closure just days away, ships are making their final call at Lake Superior ports including Marquette, which was busy on Tuesday afternoon. Two ships were taking on iron ore pellets at the LS&I Dock in Marquette with the Manitowoc on one side and the barge Michigan Trader with tug Dirk S. VanEnkevort on the other.
The Manitowoc is bound for Toledo. Information was not available on the destination for the Michigan Trader. There were five other vessels on Lake Superior heading for Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday afternoon. Other vessels have cleared the Locks and are heading for steel plants on Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie. The Kaye E. Barker, due in Marquette Thursday morning, may be the final ship of the season at the LS&I Dock. Click here to see a ship tracker.
Steel plants in the lower lakes area, several of them now owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, will need the pellets to see them through the winter months. The locks are not scheduled to reopen until March 25. While the relatively mild winter might have allowed for an extended shipping season, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Soo Locks closure is necessary to complete necessary maintenance.
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