Soo locks

WASHINGTON, D.C.--   A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers from Michigan has introduced legislation authorizing funding to upgrade the locks in Sault Ste. Marie. 

The Soo Locks Modernization Act would use the money to construct another Poe-sized lock—which is the only one large enough to handle 70 percent of the cargo that passes through. Officials say there have been no comprehensive improvements to the facility in nearly 50 years.

DETROIT, MI (AP)--   President Donald Trump's spending plan for 2018 includes $77.6 million for operation and maintenance of Great Lakes shipping channels and related infrastructure, including the lock system at Sault Ste. Marie.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Detroit District oversees operations in Michigan and parts of Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Fred Upton plan to visit the Soo Locks at the beginning of next month. 

On behalf of Michigan’s Congressional Delegation the lawmakers will join Governor Rick Snyder on the June 2 tour. They say the locks are part of Michigan’s most critical infrastructure and impact not only the shipping industry and economy, but national security.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie is warning residents about unstable ice on waterways.

With forecast rain, wind, and above-freezing temperatures this weekend, officials are urging people to use extreme caution when on the ice across Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, and the northern parts of Lakes Michigan and Huron. 

The Coast Guard is also increasing ice-breaking operations on the St. Mary’s River in preparation for the opening of the Soo Locks March 25, which will further destabilize the ice.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   Members of Congress from Michigan are prodding federal officials to finish an analysis of building a new navigational lock on the waterway linking Lake Superior with the other four Great Lakes.

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga sent a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the Soo Locks. Shipping advocates want a second lock that could handle 1,000-foot freighters hauling iron ore and other commodities on the lakes.

Only the Poe Lock can accommodate those supersized ships now.

LANSING, MI--   State Representative John Kivela has introduced a House resolution supporting upgrades to the Soo Locks.  

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost. 

The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--   U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow have sent a letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to quickly complete its Economic Reevaluation Report so the process of upgrading the Soo Locks can begin. 

Last year the Obama administration approved $1.35 million for the Corps’ request to review upgrades and to replace the Davis and Sabin locks with one similar in size to the Poe Lock.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   U.S. Senator Gary Peters will tour the Soo Locks on Thursday afternoon. 

The Michigan Democrat is a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force.  He’ll be in Sault Ste. Marie Thursday to draw attention to efforts to replace the Davis and Sabin Locks. Only the Poe Lock is large enough to handle the ships that carry 70 percent of the cargo moving through the complex.

Peters says the Soo Locks play a critical role in Michigan’s economy and national security. 

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   The Soo Locks are getting a new computer system to replace a half-century-old master control system that opens and closes the locks.  

Jim Peach, assistant area engineer at the Soo Locks, tells The Detroit News this year's upgrade in Sault Ste. Marie is part of a maritime industry move to more digital and automated systems.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the navigational lock complex on the St. Marys River. The locks lift and lower vessels moving between Lakes Huron and Superior.