The St. Lawrence Seaway kicked off its 2022 navigation season on Tuesday, with international freighters able to arrive at the Montreal – Lake Ontario section of the binational St. Lawrence Seaway.

“We’re thrilled to start the 2022 navigation season,” said Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “This year we’re confident that the St. Lawrence Seaway will continue to be a major driver of economic development while offering solutions to the environmental and supply chain challenges facing shippers around the world.”

As winter turns to spring and ice on the St. Lawrence River clears, ports on the Montreal – Lake Ontario Section are the first to open their docks for the 2022 season. The Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, is set to open on Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to open the Soo Locks—connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron in northern Michigan—on Friday.

Great Lakes-Seaway shipping is a foundation of this vibrant economy. More than 140 million metric tons of commercial cargo are transported on the waterway each year, providing transportation for the region’s manufacturing, mining, agriculture and energy sectors.

“The 2022 Navigation Season is already shaping up to be a strong year for the Port of Cleveland. We are expecting to build on the success we achieved in 2021 as we continue to position Cleveland – and the Great Lakes – as a key destination for cargo,” David Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cleveland.

“Michigan’s Gateway Port will launch 2022 with great pride, as we start the construction of the first marine container terminal in the state of Michigan, scheduled to open in 2023”, said Paul LaMarre III, Port Director, Port of Monroe. “We will also take delivery of our new 165-ton Manitowoc crawler crane and complete significant dredging work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Improving infrastructure is a theme across the United States, and we are proud to say that we are doing our part for the Great Lakes and country, right here in Monroe, Mich.”

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