US flag Great Lake carriers were pointing to a recent 20 day closure of MacArthur Lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, as good reason for a second large lock to support trade on the Great Lakes.
The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 US operators of 56 US fl agged vessels on the Great Lakes.
It was estimated that the 20 day closure by US Army Corps of Engineers, from 29 July to 17 August, caused by misaligned mitre gates, affected 77 voyages, delaying 1.8 million tons of cargo and costing operators nearly $250,000.
The 72 year old MacArthur Lock is one of four at the Soo Locks connecting Lake Huron and Lake Superior and can handle only smaller ocean-going ships. The Poe Lock, built almost 50 years ago, is the only Soo lock able to accommodate vessels over 1,000 feet.