The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says in a just-released report that building a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie able to accommodate the largest ships on the Great Lakes will help the nation’s economy and security.
About three decades ago Congress ordered the construction of a new large Soo lock.
But it was never funded after the Army Corps of Engineers determined it would not be worth the roughly $1 billion the project would cost.
Now U.S. officials say having only one Soo lock that can handle large ships poses a national security issue.
They say if the lock failed it could prevent shipments of materials many industries rely on.
Even President Trump said at a recent rally in Macomb County that the situation demanded attention.
“Your lock! It’s not working too well right? Not working too well. It hasn’t been fixed in 50 years, in all fairness. After spending all that money in the Middle East, can you imagine? We can’t fix a lock. We’ll get it fixed,” Trump said.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has already committed to providing $50 million for a new lock.
He’s also calling on other states in the Great Lakes region to do the same.