Soo Locks opening early to help replenish iron ore for steel mills

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — For the first time in recent history, the Soo Locks will open early.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will open March 24 at noon, 12 hours earlier than normal.

“The locks are opening early this year because of a request from our industry customers and they are interested in facilitating the safety of the first vessels that are going through the locks and replenishing the supply of iron ore that is used in the steel mills in the lower lakes,” Army Corps of Engineers Soo Office Chief of Operations Jeff Harrington said.

A shipping industry representative said iron ore was down in 2020 because of the pandemic, and even a 12-hour head start in 2021 helps them catch up.

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