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Paul R. Tregurtha opens shipping season

2:09 PM, Mar. 28, 2013  |  Comments
The Paul R. Tregurtha clears the Maple-Oregon Bridge on its way out of Sturgeon Bay on March 21. The ship was the first of the season to enter the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Monday.
The Paul R. Tregurtha clears the Maple-Oregon Bridge on its way out of Sturgeon Bay on March 21. The ship was the first of the season to enter the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Monday.
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, has announced that the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opened Monday, marking the beginning of the 2013 Great Lakes shipping season.

The upbound Paul R. Tregurtha was the first ship to enter the Poe Lock at 12:01 a.m. headed from its winter layup in Sturgeon Bay, to Duluth, Minn., said Bill Campbell, lockmaster at the Soo. With bundled-up spectators watching from the nearby observation deck, the 1,013-foot Tregurtha cleared the Poe at 12:58 a.m. Six vessels passed through the Poe by 9 a.m.

"The annual seasonal opening of the Soo Locks is an important event for the Great Lakes region," said Lt. Col. Robert J. Ells, district engineer. "The locks serve as a conduit for transporting commodities such as coal, iron ore and grain that energize our nation's economy. I am pleased the public can witness the impressive spectacle of huge freighters locking through, and I want to thank the hard-working Soo Area Office employees who braved harsh weather to have the locks ready for another busy shipping season."

The locks were closed on Jan. 15 and underwent routine repairs and maintenance during the winter shutdown. The MacArthur Lock, located beside the Poe, will continue undergoing maintenance for several weeks.

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