Why Soo Locks are so important to US economy: Unlocking value of engineering gem

Looking into past, present, future of American economic lifeblood

On the surface, it looks like way too small of a place and in way too remote of a location to have such a significant economic impact.

It’s also surrounded by ice for four to five months and closed over two months of the year for maintenance.

So again, why is this place, known as the Soo Locks, so important? Why did President Donald Trump decide in March to earmark more than $75 million in his budget to a major construction project there?

Because without the Soo Locks, the U.S. economy would plunge into a deep recession.

Don’t take our word for it, though.

That’s according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which, in 2016, released a report saying that just a six-month shutdown of the Soo Locks would result in 11 million lost jobs across the country.

In light of that, what exactly are the Soo Locks, and what function do they provide that’s so vital to the U.S. economy?

Here’s a deeper look at unlocking the past, present and future importance of the Soo Locks, an engineering marvel that is beyond crucial to North American manufacturing industries.

Read the full story here.


1st Place: Adam Bjornberg

Caption: The Gardno anchored outside of the Duluth ship canal. // Prize: $500

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2nd Place: David Schauer

Caption: The Paul R. Tregurtha departing from Duluth. // Prize: $250

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3rd Place: Adam Bjornberg

Caption: An evening arrival of the Floragracht in Duluth amid a pink horizon. // Prize: $100

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Honorable Mentions