Soo Locks to close as workers remove sunken obstruction

Dec 5, 2016

The Tim S. Dool exits the Poe Lock in May 2016.
Credit David Cassleman

The Soo Locks will be closed for several hours Tuesday morning while workers remove a sunken hazard from the water. 

Last week, a 100-foot-long section of sheet metal piling fell into the channel just west of the locks. The sheet metal wall is part of a pier that is under construction. The accident happened when a ship’s propeller wash broke temporary anchors on the wall and knocked it over.

“Just think of a picket fence … kind of slowly going over and then resting at the bottom,” says Allan Frappier, chief of lock operations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Army Corps has been doing work on the pier for several months. Pilots on freighters use the pier to line up themselves as they approach the Poe Lock. 

Work will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday and last for up to six hours.

“They’re going to pick up that whole wall with a couple cranes, lift it up, stand it back up and then take it apart,” Frappier says.

The Army Corps has been doing work on the pier for several months.