LANSING, MI-- State Representative John Kivela has introduced a House resolution supporting upgrades to the Soo Locks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has requested funding for a study needed to move forward on the construction of a second large lock. The Poe lock is the only one large enough to accommodate vessels carrying iron ore, coal, grain, and other cargo. Kivela says that puts the U.P. and Michigan economy at a disadvantage. He says relying on one lock also poses a risk to national security, as the Soo locks are the pathway to markets throughout the northern Midwest states.
About 10,000 Great Lakes vessels carrying 80 million tons of cargo travel through the locks every year. Officials estimate a 30-day outage would result in economic losses of $160 million.