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Trump includes Soo Locks in budget

The downbound 1,000-foot Indiana Harbor enters one of the Soo Locks in 2017. (file / News Tribune)

President Donald Trump included more than $75 million in funding for the Soo Locks in his 2020 fiscal year budget request to Congress. The funds, if approved, would be used in part to help fund a new 1,200-foot-long lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, the funds would be sufficient to initiate construction of the upstream approach walls, continue the design of the new Soo Lock chamber and complete construction of the upstream channel deepening. Upstream approach walls construction will stabilize the existing approach walls to allow for modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock.

At present, just one lock — the Poe Lock — at the Soo is capable of handling the 1,000-foot lakers that move most of the cargo on the Great Lakes.

The Soo Locks received $922 million to build the new lock when Trump signed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act into law in October.