St. Lawrence Seaway officials issued a notice this week establishing opening dates for the upcoming 63rd shipping season for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Locally, the Soo Locks, on the eastern end of Lake Superior, will open at 11:01 p.m. March 24 (just after midnight Eastern Standard Time on March 25), according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, is scheduled to open at 7 a.m. March 19, followed by the Montreal-Lake Ontario Section, which is scheduled to open at 7 a.m. March 22.

Those aboard the Arthur M. Anderson wave to people watching from the pier in Canal Park in July 2019. The ship is known for being the last to make contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald before it sank in 1975. (Ellen Schmidt / File / News Tribune)
Those aboard the Arthur M. Anderson wave to people watching from the pier in Canal Park in July 2019. The ship is known for being the last to make contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald before it sank in 1975. (Ellen Schmidt / File / News Tribune)

Ship transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Transit restrictions may apply in some areas until after installation of lighted navigational aids.

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The St. Lawrence Seaway System opened in 1959.

The starting dates are generally the same every year, though last season’s Seaway opening was delayed two weeks due to attempts at lowering Lake Ontario water levels, and, in 2015, ice buildup delayed the opening.

This season’s announced dates would represent an “on-time” opening, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority confirmed.