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Trump Budget Proposal to Provide $75 Million for Soo Locks Upgrade

Included in President Trump’s budget proposal is the money needed to construct a new lock in Sault Ste, Marie.

Trump has allocated $75.3 million for the new Poe-sized Lock at the Soo, a project approved years ago by Congress but never began.

The move was applauded by Congressman Jack Bergman and Senator Gary Peters, both of whom have been calling for the new lock.

“Construction of a new Poe-sized Lock in the Soo has been a failed endeavor by politicians for decades, but that is no longer the case. Recently, I led a letter with Congressmen John Moolenaar and Paul Mitchell to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting the inclusion of Soo Locks construction funding in the President’s FY2020 budget. I’m thankful President Trump has followed through on his promise to build a new Lock and included a request of $75.3 million to continue Lock construction in FY20,” said Bergman.

“My efforts to advance First District priorities doesn’t end here; I will continue working with my colleagues in the House and Senate, the Trump Administration, and the Army Corps of Engineers to keep the momentum going on construction of the new Lock,” he said.

Congressman Moolenaar stated, “This is incredible news for Michigan. The Soo Locks are vital to shipping on the Great Lakes and the American economy. Since Congressman Bergman, Congressman Mitchell and myself talked to President Trump about the Soo Locks last April, there has been more progress on building a new Lock than there has been in decades. This new funding will create jobs and benefit our entire state.”

“Seeing further funding for upgrades to the Soo Locks included in the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed budget for next year is welcome news,” said Congressman Paul Mitchell. “Last year, after working with my colleagues in Congress, the Army Corps provided initial funds for these upgrades, and these funds demonstrate continued commitment from the Trump Administration to upgrading the Soo Locks. Any failure at the locks would have a devastating ripple effect on our nation’s economy and national security. I will continue to do anything and everything possible working with my colleagues, the administration, and the Army Corps of Engineers to move the project towards groundbreaking and completion to protect our economy and our nation.”

Senator Peters said, “I have long been a strong advocate for the Soo Locks. I’m glad that the Trump Administration has proposed dedicating $75 million to this bipartisan effort — it’s a good first step. There’s a lot of work ahead to ensure this project is finished. I am committed to continuing to partner with my colleagues in the Michigan congressional delegation and the Administration to advance this project, because the Soo Locks are critical not only to Michigan’s economy but to our entire country.”

In June of 2018, the U.S. Army Corps released the long-awaited Director’s report which Congressman Bergman worked to expedite, fund and complete. This report reflected a realistic picture of the enormous value and benefit of the Soo Locks. Previous studies and analysis failed to take into account national security implications along with many economic realities.

Construction could begin as early as next year if the budget passes Congress.

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