Poe Lock Closes for Emergency Repairs

Closure causes concerns, stops two thousand-footer ships.

Emergency repairs forced the closure of the largest of the Soo Locks on Monday, causing some concern for the Duluth-Superior Port.

The Poe Lock was closed for repairs for 12 hours.

This cased delays in port shipping, including two thousand-footers waiting to get through at Sault Saint Marie, Michigan.

According to Jayson Hron of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, this is becoming an increasingly frequent and concerning occurrence with the aging lock.

“Any delays, any time that is lost during the season can’t be made up,” Hron said. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

“So any kind of closures come at a cost both in the moment and also in terms of the subsequent number of trips the vessel can make throughout the course of the season.”

The Poe Lock is the only one of the Soo Locks that’s big enough for large vessels that carry iron ore used in steel manufacturing.

Construction of a second large lock is expected to begin next year at a cost of nearly a billion dollars.

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