Funding Boost for the New Soo Lock in Michigan

Lake Carriers’ Association reported yesterday (September 17) that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $75.3 million in Fiscal Year 2020 funding for the new Soo Lock project.

This matches the amount approved by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year and also matches the amount the Trump Administration requested for FY ’20.

Jim Weakley, President of Lake Carriers, said, “This is a major victory for supporters of the Soo Locks. $75.3 million is the largest single appropriation of construction money ever for this project.

This funding will substantially advance the new lock as an addition to the $32.4 million approved by the Army Corps last year (FY ’19) and the $52 million contribution from the State of Michigan,” added Jim Weakley.

Though the $75.3 million is critical, it still falls below the $89 million for FY ’20 the Corps’ deems “efficient funding.”

This higher amount would optimize a design and construction schedule that could see the new lock built in seven years rather than 10 and could save $30 million in overall project costs.

The Soo Lock project in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was authorized by Congress in 1986, though funding never followed. Michigan accelerated its advocacy for the Soo Locks following President Trump’s visit to Michigan and commitment to the project in April 2018.