Great Lakes Officials Renew Push For New Lock

Officials Support Bill To Build A New Lock At Sault Ste. Marie


Local, state and federal representatives gathered in the Twin Ports Monday afternoon to support a bipartisan bill that would authorize funding to build a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The Soo locks are made up of the Poe and MacArthur locks. They connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

Representatives of the Great Lakes Commission, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., were among those making the case for another lock.

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Most of the goods that move through the Soo Locks must go through the larger Poe lock. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security study found closing the aging lock could cripple the regional economy. The report said failure of the lock for six months during the shipping season could put 11 million people out of work and trigger a nationwide recession.

The Poe Lock was re-built in 1968 and is the only lock big enough to handle 1,000 ft. ships carrying cargo like iron ore to the lower lakes.

A new Soo lock has been identified as one of the nation’s 40 most important infrastructure projects by the U.S. Treasury Department. That report projected a new lock for ships could generate up to $1.7 billion in economic benefits if built.