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Obama Budget Earmarks Port Repair Money For Superior-Duluth

Funds Intended To Rebuild Aging Piers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District (CC-BY-SA)

President Obama’s budget unveiled this week includes money for over-due repairs at the Duluth-Superior harbor and Soo Locks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would receive more than $69 million in projects around the Great Lakes. Detroit district operations chief Dave Wright said around $2.2 million would repair a failing Superior pier. He said it’s been on the corps’ list of worst condition structures for five years and a collapse could block entering ships.

“Duluth-Superior is the busiest commercial port on the Great Lakes,” Wright said. “Any kind of interruption to traffic there is more critical than you might experience at a less busy harbor.”

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Wright said another $3 million would repair a 1960s-era pier critical for navigation at the Soo Locks.

“That’s pretty typical of most of the structures throughout the Great Lakes,” he said. “They are all upwards of approaching 100 years old.”

The president’s budget also includes $16.1 million for dredging projects for Great Lakes harbors, including the Twin Ports, Manitowoc and Green Bay.