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Contract awarded for Soo Locks repairs


Aug. 4, 2017


DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, recently awarded a contract for major construction repairs at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The contract for almost $2.4 million to replace Poe Lock quoin and miter blocks was awarded to Morrish-Wallace Construction Inc., of Cheboygan, Mich., (d.b.a.) Ryba Marine Construction.

Ryba Marine will replace crucial aging and deteriorating infrastructure at the Soo Locks. This contract involves removing existing miter blocks and quoin blocks, then fabricating and replacing these steel blocks on Gates 1 and 3 of the Poe Lock at the St. Marys River navigational locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“The Poe Lock provides a critical connection for navigation between the upper and lower Great Lakes,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer. “Repairs like this are necessary to maintain reliable functionality of the Poe Lock gates. We are pleased to award this contract that helps to achieve our vision of a reliable and resilient Great Lakes Navigation System.”

This key priority project will be performed during the winter shutdown of the Soo Locks facility from January to mid-March 2018 with completion by June 2018.

The quoin block is a square, relatively flat block placed at the interface between the gate and the wall. Miter blocks are a similar block placed on each gate leaf where the gates contact each other. The gates are large doors which seal off the lock chamber from the upper and lower canal.  These gates, called miter gates, when closed meet at an angle like a chevron with the pressure from the water-level keeping the gates closed.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 91 harbors and four connecting channels, including the channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.

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