Soo start anew

It connects Duluth to the world — at least by water — and the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are about to open for the new shipping season.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the 2013 Great Lakes shipping season will begin with the opening of the locks at precisely 12:01 a.m. Monday. The observation deck and park will be open from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. so visitors can see it happen. It’s about a nine-hour drive if you want to make the run.

Also, the Soo Locks Visitor Center will have an open house from 9 a.m. t3 p.m. Monday. Slide shows and refreshments will be offered. Admission is free.

The locks closed for the winter Jan. 15.

Here in the Twin Ports, the Mesabi Miner inaugurated the new season Wednesday, leaving port with a load of coal for Presque Isle, Mich. It’s due back in Duluth tonight for a load of iron ore pellets.