The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has called on a local company to help it with the Soo Locks.
Windemuller in Grand Rapids, a technical and design services provider, said yesterday that the Corps of Engineers has awarded it a two year, $6.3-million contract to upgrade the entire control and instrumentation system of the Soo Locks’ MacArthur Lock in Sault Ste. Marie.
The contract also includes replacing the current electrical system and installing a new Homeland Security-grade security camera system.
Work on the project is expected to be finished some time next year.
The Soo Locks, a set of parallel locks on the St. Mary’s River allowing ships to travel between the lower Great Lakes and Lake Superior, is made up of four parallel lock chambers running east to west, one of which is the MacArthur Lock.
The locks create accessibility from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The economic impact the locks generate, through the millions of tons of cargo shipped through them, is estimated to be more than $1 billion annually.
Windemuller said the system at the MacArthur Lock will feature a “state-of-the-art” digital-control system, digital cameras and power distribution with a special emphasis on operator safety and reducing the vulnerability to terrorism and natural disaster.
Windemuller will also be using 3D point cloud processing, building information modeling and pre-fabrication on the project to streamline the installation process, reducing downtime at the MacArthur Lock.
Jim Rose, VP at Windemuller, said the company constantly seeks “challenging projects” like the MacArthur Lock project to demonstrate its “diverse capabilities.”
“Our people never cease to amaze me with their talents and ingenuity,” Rose said.