Spring is sprung, and the ice is melting. That means a new construction season will start soon in Sault Ste. Marie. Throughout the winter construction crews for the new Soo Lock, worked to prepare the site for summer work. As soon as the weather is right for work, crews will begin to drain the site, and perform hazardous material assessments. The upcoming construction phase will cost approximately 1.3 billion dollars.
“The locks we are replacing are over 100 years old at this point. So there are some known and unknown hazardous materials that have to be addressed. As well as demolishing the existing structures that are currently in place. I do expect the contractor will begin resuming work, they honestly already have. It’s just a matter of building up to a bigger pace over summer.” – Rachel Miller, Supervisory Civil Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Supervisory Civil Engineer, Rachel Miller, says the biggest component of the construction project is coordinating between the construction division and the operation division at the Soo locks. Freighters will begin to appear around Sault Ste. Marie later this week, when the locks open for the season on Saturday. Shipping operations will then continue with business as usual, keeping freighters moving through the locks and on their way to their destinations. The army corps of engineers anticipates the full scope of the new lock construction will finish by 2030.