Soo Locks to host ribbon cutting ceremony during Engineer's Day Festivities

June 23, 2017

SAULT STE. MARIE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, June 30,  to celebrate the completion of the Poe Lock Embedded Gate Anchorage Replacement project at the Soo Locks.

This was one of most significant projects that took place during the 2017 winter work. The project involved removal of existing original embedded anchorages on the Poe Lock and installing new embedded anchorages.

“This project required heavy coordination, insight from other branches, and overall support,” said Keith Kropfreiter, project engineer and contracting officer’s representative, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. “This project could not have been as successful without the support of the project delivery team and the contractor, Morrish-Wallace Construction Inc. (dba Ryba Marine Construction Company).  Both Poe Lock gates one and three were operational on Feb. 17, ahead of the March 25 scheduled opening date.”

The embedded gate anchorages hold each gate leaf in place and transfer its weight to the adjacent concrete lock wall. Each gate leaf is secured by a primary and secondary embedded anchorage. The project required fabrication of new steel anchorage frames, drilling of concrete cores and installation of anchor rods to accommodate the new anchorage frames,  installation of new anchorage frames, new concrete placement, disassembly and re-assembly of gate linkage assemblies, and placement of a 1,050 foot long concrete access road. A total of eight anchorage frames ensuring the stability of four gate leafs were completed to ensure the Poe Lock was operational prior to the start of the 2017 shipping season.

Other major winter work projects involved sandblasting, structural repairs and painting of the MacArthur Lock stop logs, as well as dewatering bulkheads and installation of a modern electric operating system controlling the operation of gates and valves on the Poe Lock.

There are two operating locks at the Soo: the 74-year-old MacArthur Lock and the 49-year-old Poe Lock. As part of its navigation mission, the Detroit District has operated and maintained these locks since 1881. The locks assist ships in navigating the 21 foot drop at the St. Marys Falls on the St. Marys River, which allows passage between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.