Clelia II - A brand new cruise ship on its Maiden Voyage to the Great Lakes is at Roberta Bandar Park in the Canadian Soo (also in the photo are the CCG Cape Hurd and the Norgoma Museum Ship
Clelia II - Stern view at Roberta Bandar Park
Algowood - Bow-view downbound at Mission Point
Algowood - Stern view at Mission Point
USACE Nicolet - Dredge upbound at Mission Point
Canadian Prospector - Bow-view downbound at Mission Point
Canadian Prospector - Bow-view close-up
Canadian Prospector - Broadside view at Mission Point
Canadian Prospector - Stern-view close-up
3 Ships - Downbound Canadian Prospector and Algowood meet the upbound H. Lee White
H. Lee White - Bow-view upbound at Mission Point
H. Lee White - Stern-view close-up at Mission Point
Clelia II - The cruise ship has now moved over to Carbide Dock on the American side of the St. Mary's River
Clelia II - Bow-view close-up
Clelia II - Wider angle bow-view
The old and the new - Stern-view (broadside) of the brand new Clelia II at Carbide Dock with the 1898-built E.M. Ford across the river at Purvis Marine in the background
John D. Leitch - Loading at Algoma Steel Export Dock
John D. Leitch - Wide angle at the Export Dock with Algokma Steel in the background
Tuesday June 30 Groundbreaking Ceremony:
On Tuesday, June 30, an historic event took place at Sault Ste. Marie, MI. A Groundbreaking Ceremony for a NEW Soo Lock took place on the "island" between the MacArthur Lock and Poe Lock. This new lock was first proposed to the United States Congress in 1986; however, funding has been hard to come by. This year, $17 million was committed to the project, with the first order of business being to build new cofferdams to block off the upper and lower approaches to the current Davis and Sabin Locks, of which only the Davis is still used, but only infrequently. The cofferdam will, in effect, take the Davis completely out of play; so, the project is likely to come to fruition in the (hopefully) near future. The new Soo Lock is projected to take approximately 7 - 10 years to build, and would put about 1000 people to work, with perhaps as many 15,000 jobs being directly, or indirectly, influenced by the new lock project. The projected new lock would be the same size as the current Poe Lock - 1200-ft. long by 110-ft. wide. Because of length and width, most American ships and many Canadian ships can only use the Poe Lock, as the MacArthur Lock is only 800-ft. long by 80-ft. wide, and cannot accommodate the size of many of today's ships.
Dignitaries on hand included: Lt. Col. James Davis - Commander of the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Brig. General John Peabody - Commander Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kirk Steudel - Michigan Dept. of Transportation Secretary (representing Gov. Granholm who was unable to attend), Hon. Carl Levin - U.S. Senator from Michigan, Hon. Debbie Stabenow - U.S. Senator from Michigan, Hon. Bart Stupak - U.S. Representative from (Menominee) Michigan, Hon. Terence "Rock" Salt - Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Maj. Gen. Meredith W.B. "Bo" Temple - Deputy Commanding General Civil and Emergency Operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hon. Anthony Bosbous - Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, His Worship John Roswell - Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Tribal Chairperson Joe McCoy - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Mr. James Weakley - President of the Lake Carriers Association and Mr. David L. Knight - Great Lakes Commission.
After an hour of speeches on a brutal 50-degree day with 20-25 mph winds whistling through an open tent, each of the dignitaries donned a hardhat and picked up a ceremonial shovel, dug their shovels into the (previously tilled) ground alongside the Davis Lock, and let the dirt fly. With this, the ceremony ended just as rain began to softly fall.
Three 1000-ft.-long vessels passed through the Poe Lock around the time of the ceremony: The Presque Isle was in the lock as the ceremony began, the Indiana Harbor "locked through" during the ceremony, and, as the festivities came to a close, the Edwin H. Gott prepared to enter the Poe Lock. All three vessels were upbound and empty.
The U.S. Coast Guard had armed gunboats on hand patrolling the area around the Soo Locks Approaches; one was seen in the Upper MacArthur Lock Approach as the Edwin H. Gott departed the lock, and I assume that the lower approach was also guarded since there were many dignitaries in attendance.
Photos of the Ceremony:
Inside the tent - Speakers podium and assorted flags
Crowd - Part of a standing room only crowd (lucky ones were seated under the tent)
Ceremonial Tools - Shovels and Hardhats for each of the dignitaries
Lt. Col. James Davis - The first speaker is Commander, Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Brig. Gen. John Peabody - The next speaker is Commander, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Kirk Steudel - Next is Michigan Secretary of Transportation representing Gov. Granholm who was not able to attend
David Knight - The Special Projects Manager at Great Lakes Commission speaks next
James Weakley - The President of Lake Carriers' Association is next
His Worship John Roswell - The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario speaks next
Hon. Anthony Bosbous - The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, MI is next to the podium
Joe McCoy - Tribal Chairperson of the Chippewa Indians speaks next. He told of how the St. Mary's River Rapids (where the Soo locks now stand) was once his tribal ancestors' fishing grounds, which they gave up so the locks could be built.
Hon. Bart Stupak - The U.S. Congressman from (Menominee) Michigan, who has been a tremendous force in Great Lakes legislation over the years, is the next speaker
Hon. Debbie Stabenow - The next speaker is a U.S. Senator from Michigan
Hon. Carl Levin - Here, the U.S. Senator from Michigan banters with the crowd after a rousing round of clapping saying that he thinks the great applause is because everyone thinks he is the last speaker ... "I'm NOT", he said (which brought a round of laughter and smiles)
Maj. General W.B. "Bo" Temple - The Deputy Commanding General Civil and Emergency Operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is next
Hon. Terrence "Rock" Salt - The final speaker is the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works
Groundbreaking - The dignitaries each don a hardhat and grab a shovel
Groundbreaking - Preparing to "Dig in"
Groundbreaking - It is time to "Dig in"!
Groundbreaking - ... and let the dirt fly! - This ends the ceremony.
Well, everyone, that wraps up this year's (summer) trip to the Soo. It was a great time, decent weather, and a time to renew some old friendships ... and make some new ones. I hope you enjoyed the photos and stories. So, until next time, I'll be "keepin' on clickin'"!
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