Detroit News: Army Corps gets $1.35M to study upgrade for Soo Locks

Washington — The Obama administration has approved $1.35 million in funding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested for a cost-benefit study of an additional shipping lock on the river that connects Lakes Huron and Superior.

Only one of the four aging locks Sault Ste. Marie is large enough to handle ships that carry 70 percent of the cargo, and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation have pushed to replace two outdated locks with a new one capable of handling the largest freighters.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, of Lansing, and Gary Peters, of Bloomfield Township, said Monday the administration has committed $1.35 million to review upgrades to replace the Davis and Sabin Locks, which are nearly 100 years old and no longer in use. The Soo Locks transport roughly 80 million tons of raw goods and materials a year.

The approved study follows mechanical problems in August that shut one of the two main locks at Sault Ste. Marie capable of handling commercial ships on the Great Lakes. It was closed for two-and-a-half weeks during the important shipping season.


Peters noted that the Soo Locks are the busiest in the United States, transporting nearly 80 million tons of goods and raw materials a year. “I’m proud to work with Sen. Stabenow and the administration to ensure the Soo Locks stay open and continue to drive commerce in our state and our region,” he said.

By:  Melissa Nann Burke
Source: Detroit News