How Important Are Michigan’s Soo Locks to America? You Might Be Surprised
If you've never been there, you should really take a few days to go up north and see the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, in the U.P. Frankly, I'd wait until it gets a little warmer, but that's just me.
The locks, the Poe (1200 feet long and 110 feet wide) and the smaller MacArthur (800 feet long and 80 feet wide) are there to help ships go from Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes, which are 21 feet lower than Lake Superior. The shipping season will get back underway on March 25th. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Department of Homeland Security says that IF the Poe Lock had a problem and had to shut down for 6 months, it would drag the American economy into recession and 11 MILLION people would lose their jobs. The report says, “In terms of an impact to the North American economy, it is hard to conceive of a single asset more consequential than the Poe Lock.”
So, it's pretty important. The government is considering building a second "Poe-sized" lock where two unused locks now sit just north of the Poe, but that could take years.
And go visit - the big ships are awesome to see. And there's a couple of good restaurants right across the street.
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