$479M allocated for mega project in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

The Army Corps’ New Soo Lock Project in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich, will receives almost $480 million in fiscal year 2022 from the recently announced infrastructure bill IIJA.

According to the Corps, out of $561 million allocated for the Michigan, nearly $479 million is slated for USACE’s mega New Soo Lock Project, additional $37 million is for major rehabilitation and $4 million for other existing facility work.

“The IIJA funding is for major Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration and flood damage reduction,” said Detroit District Deputy District Engineer Kevin McDaniels. “The majority of money the Detroit District is receiving will fund construction of the New Lock at the Soo project.”

“The Soo Locks are nationally critical infrastructure, and their reliability is essential to U.S. manufacturing and National Security,” continued McDaniels. “A failure of the Poe Lock would have significant impacts to the U.S. economy, especially the steel industry.”

There are currently two active lock chambers at the Soo Locks facility, the Poe and MacArthur locks. The Poe Lock is the only one large enough for the 1,000-foot freighters to traverse the locks.

The New Lock at the Soo is being built on the site of and replacing two inactive locks, the Davis and Sabin, and will be the same size as the Poe Lock at 1,200-feet long and 110-feet wide.

“The New Lock at the Soo will provide much needed resiliency in the Great Lakes Navigation System,” McDaniels added. “It will eliminate the single point of failure in our nation’s iron ore supply chain.”

The New Soo Lock Project is currently in Phase II of construction with Phase III expected to be awarded in Spring 2022.

Photo: USACE