When it comes to keeping American industry up and running, it's hard to overstate the importance of the Soo Locks.
The big ships carrying iron ore from northern Michigan and Minnesota on Lake Superior must pass through the Soo Locks to get to the steel mills that are on the lower lakes.
So when there's a problem at the aging locks, you can bet that business and shipping interests are sounding the alarm bells.
Todd Spangler of The Detroit Free Press has been following the recent delays and closings at the Soo.
More from his story in the Freep:
The recent closing of the MacArthur Lock has heightened concerns about a piece of the nation’s manufacturing supply chain that, if shut down for any length of time, could have catastrophic effects on the U.S. economy with ripples that could devastate the global supply chain for those manufacturers who rely on timely shipments of steel.
He joined us today to talk about the economic importance of the Soo, and its role in America's manufacturing supply chain.