DOT chief visits St. Lawrence Seaway

The Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Massena. File photo: reivax, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The head of the U.S. Department of Transportation will be in Massena this morning. Secretary Elaine Chao will participate in a ceremony at the Eisenhower Lock to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. She’ll be joined by officials from the U.S. and Canada.

The Seaway opened in 1959 to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes for shipping. Flooding of the St. Lawrence River behind the Moses-Saunders power dam in the 1950s required people’s homes and whole villages to be displaced.

Massena is now home to two of the seven locks along the Seaway. Ocean-going freighters have become an iconic sight along the St. Lawrence.

For the past ten years, the Department of Transportation has invested about $150 million to do maintenance on the Seaway – dredging the channel, upgrading the locks, and improving the facilities and equipment in Massena.