Millions allotted for Soo Locks

SAULT STE. MARIE — More than $65 million earmarked for Eastern Upper Peninsula projects has been allocated to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District for fiscal year 2018 under the official work plan rolled out early this week.

The Detroit District, encompassing Great Lakes from Duluth-Superior Harbor on the far western end of Lake Superior on down into Lake Michigan and Lake Huron will receive an additional $79 million to repair breakwaters, dredge harbors and complete various projects and studies throughout its jurisdiction.

Congressman Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) revealed in a press release from his office that the plan includes $42 million for a pump well system for the Poe Lock and Davis Lock. An additional $4.2 million has been allocated for Poe Lock ship arrestors, while $6.2 million has been dedicated to Poe Lock bulkheads. Another $5.2 million will go toward what was described as a tainter valve project for the MacArthur Lock.

“Since taking office, I’ve worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) leadership and the Trump Administration to highlight the dangers to our economy and national security of an unscheduled outage of the 50 year old Poe Lock,” said Bergman.

“After urging USACE in April to use additional appropriated funds towards Soo Locks modernization, the updated FY18 work plan released this week directs over $57 million to be spent on major rehabilitation and modernization at the soo Locks complex. This is great news for Michigan’s First District, and critical in our mission of building a new Poe-sized Lock,” said Bergman. “I appreciate the administration’s refreshing focus on our vital waterway infrastructure. This is another major step towards ensuring seamless operation of the Soo Locks. I will continue working to advance momentum we’ve begun to build a new Poe-sized lock on Sault Ste. Marie.”

An additional $7.845 million has been allocated for asset renewal and hydropower projects on the St. Marys River, but specifics were not detailed by either Bergman’s Office or the USACE in their press released.

Finally, for the Eastern Upper Peninsula coverage area, $305,000 has been earmarked for Whitefish Point Harbor improvements.

The Sault News

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