Army Corps of Engineers receives $479M to modernize Soo Locks

Investment could put project ahead of schedule by 2 years

The MacArthur Lock is part of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The Soo Locks see almost 90 percent of the world's iron ore go through them. Keith Dunlap/GMG.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Army Corps of Engineers will receive $479 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to modernize the Soo Locks.

The investment means there is now enough money to fully fund the Corp’s budget to finish building a new lock. The Soo Locks serve as a gateway for Great Lakes freighters carrying agricultural products and materials.

Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Gary Peters worked to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“After a hard-fought effort, we finally have full funding of the Corp’s budget to finish building the new lock at the Soo Locks. In Michigan, we know how vital the Locks are to our economy and our national defense. We also know that we are on borrowed time until something happens that shuts them down. Thanks to our bipartisan efforts in Congress, and with the President’s leadership, we are able to finish this project as soon as possible,” Stabenow said.

The new lock is meant to allow larger vessels and prevent failures of the locks.

“The bipartisan infrastructure law is delivering for Michiganders with this significant investment in the Soo Locks – an economic and national security priority for Michigan and our nation,” Peters said. “With some of the pumps operating the locks being more than 100 years old, it was long overdue that we modernize such a critical piece of our infrastructure and ensure sustainability for the future. Building a new lock will make our supply chains more resilient and bolster commerce on the Great Lakes – and I was proud to help pass the legislation making this necessary upgrade closer to a reality.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement:

“I applaud the US Army Corps of Engineers for making a $479 million investment in the Soo Locks to finish the project, protecting tens of thousands of jobs and uplifting our economy. The locks are critical to facilitating trade and economic cooperation between our two peninsulas and Great Lakes neighbors. Our federal partners are also bolstering critical Michigan harbors, further shoring up our waterways and enabling businesses to trade goods and supplies more easily. I am grateful to our congressional delegation for fighting for this investment. Together, we will continue finding ways to grow Michigan’s economy, create and protect good-paying jobs, and invest in every region of our great state.”


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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.