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Witness the extraordinary locks, canals, and lift bridges that make Great Lakes transportation possible.
This man-made marvel was built in 1855 and connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Being the busiest lock system in the world, between seven and ten thousand ships pass through the Soo Locks during the shipping season each year. Being too large to travel through the Welland Canal that bypasses Niagara Falls, larger domestic carriers (called lakers) need to travel through the Soo Locks. Large ships that pass through the locks are approximately 1,000 feet long by 105 feet wide. The largest ship to pass through the Soo Locks is larger than three football fields in length. The Paul R. Tregurtha measures 1,013 feet and 6 inches. Smaller foreign ships (termed salties) can exit the Great Lakes by way of the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic Ocean.