Lake Superior Rail-to-Water Coal Terminal Wins Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 6, Pg. 66-70

Document Type: Feature article


During 1976, the nation's largest Western coal transshipment terminal, the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, began operation in Superior, Wisconsin. This event marks the opening for a gateway for large-scale, long-distance movement of energy found in the vast coal reserves in the Western U.S., and a significant step in Project Independence. As a transshipment terminal, it receives coal by unit trains, coal mined at the Decker strip mine in Montana 1,000 miles away. In summer months, coal is loaded at the transshipment terminal onto giant Lakes-going vessels, then transported through the Soo locks to the St. Clair power plant of the Detroit Edison Co. Among notable aspects of the terminal, the winner of this year's Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, are: the facility will reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil by 75,000 barrels/yr, saving $1 billion/yr in the U.S. balance of payments; the project uses the world's highest capacity shiploader for coal and the world's largest tunnel reclaim system.

Subject Headings: Lakes | Multimodal transportation systems | Rail transportation | Water transportation | Coal | Non-renewable energy | Awards and prizes | Lake Superior | Great Lakes

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