Army Corps prepares to seek funding for Soo Locks upgrade

July 02, 2018 - 4:03 pm

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says construction of a second Great Lakes navigation lock for large freighters will be included in its 2020 budget request to the Trump administration.

Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue of the agency's Detroit district said Monday the Soo Locks upgrade will have to compete with others from around the nation. Congress will make the final decision about whether to fund the $1 billion project.

A new Army Corps analysis significantly boosts the project's benefit-cost score, which should improve its prospects.

Only one of the existing locks can accommodate the 1,000-foot freighters that haul iron ore and other bulk cargo between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

Advocates say if it's disabled for a lengthy period, steelmaking and U.S. heavy manufacturing could be severely harmed.

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