Thursday, August 20, 2009
The SOO Locks
The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, MI are a vital link in the Great Lakes Marine Navigation system. These locks connect Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes. The first lock was completed in 1855 around the rapids that were restricting commercial marine traffic. In the 1870’s, these locks were placed under the control of the federal government and currently are managed by the US Army Corp of engineers. The locks are capable of handling the largest ships on the lakes- the 1000’ bulk freighters. There are two active locks with plans for the two smaller locks to be replaced when funding is available.
We are camped at the water’s edge just a short distance east of the locks and can view the ships as they come and go thru the locks. The lock grounds are open to the public, where you can view the ships as they transit the locks. A visitor center is on the grounds which explains the history of the locks and keeps visitors updated on expected arrivals.
A web cam system is in place on the locks and you check the activity at locks 24 hours a day.
If you are in the area, this is definitely worth the visit and it is free.