Michigan officials pledge $50M for shipping locks upgrade

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 16:10:18-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder and top Michigan lawmakers are promising President Donald Trump the state will help pay to upgrade the Soo Locks if the federal government takes the lead.

Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley told Trump in a letter released Monday that Michigan is committing $50 million for a second lock to accommodate 1,000-foot freighters that haul iron ore and other bulk cargo between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.

Just one lock in the system can handle vessels that big. Officials say if it were disabled, the U.S. steel and manufacturing industries would be crippled.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a second 1,000-foot lock would cost $900 million. Congress authorized the project in 1986 but hasn’t funded it.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Tom Leonard also signed the letter to Trump pledging a state contribution.