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Senate authorizes Soo Locks project

The Herbert C. Jackson prepares to enter the MacArthur Lock while the Tuscarora approaches the Poe Lock pier.
Michelle Hill
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Senate passed authorization for an upgrade to the Soo Locks as part of a water resources bill Thursday. The bill was passed by the House last month and is on its way to President Trump for his signature. 

Only one of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie can accommodate the largest freighters hauling iron ore on the Great Lakes. The 1200 ft. Poe Lock was built in 1896, and upgraded in 1968. The Army Corps of Engineers says that if the Poe Lock breaks down, it will disrupt shipping in the entire region, and 11 million jobs could be lost.

The bill will allow for construction of a second large lock. If President Trump signs the bill, Congress will still need to appropriate $1 billion to fund the project.

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