Approved by the Senate: A New Soo Lock is a Close Reality, If President Trump Signs
“After spending all that money in the Middle East can you imagine, we can’t fix a lock? We’ll get it fixed,” President Trump said, during his trip to Michigan last April.
Now a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie is just his signature away from reality.
Today the U.S. Senate approved the 2018 Water Resources Development Act, which includes $922 million in funding for a new Soo Lock.
The act is now on the president’s desk and lawmakers are confident we could see a new lock.
“Your lock is not working too well, not working too well. It hasn’t been fixed in 50 years in all fairness,” the president said during his speech.
A president’s promise in April, the funding now awaiting his approval, many think the project has gotten this close because of a limo ride that included President Trump and Congressman Jack Bergman.
“I would say it’s an extremely efficient use of a 30 minute limo ride, to number 1 get the president’s understanding of the Soo Locks, to gain his support, to now have WRDA gain senate approval 99-1. It will be signed by the president,” Rep. Bergman, said.
Bergman made the Soo Locks his number one issue and says with bipartisan support Northern Michigan is closer than ever before to seeing construction.
“Infrastructure is bipartisan effort and that’s what a lot of people don’t realize. The bottom line is once the money is appropriated, shovels better start warming up,” Bergman, added.
Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters is confident as well.
“We worked very aggressively and we worked to get funding for a study done by the army corps of engineers that confirm what we always knew that this lock is critical infrastructure, and if anything happened to it we’d have very negative impact not only to Michigan but this whole country,” Sen. Peters, explained
The project would cost nearly $1 billion and could take seven to 10 years to complete.
The goal is to have it in the next budget.
“We now have to get this money appropriated and put in the budget so the process can move forward,” Peters, added.