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Mich. lawmakers hope Trump backing will push Soo Locks upgrade

The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Michigan members of Congress hope that President Trump’s promise to upgrade the Soo Locks will get the long-stalled project moving.

Trump made the announcement in a speech Saturday in Macomb County.

“You know what the Soo Locks are?" Trump said to cheers from the audience. "Well, the Soo Locks are going to hell. You know that, right? And we’re going to get them fixed up. We’re going to get them fixed up.”

The Soo Locks are part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The system needs a new, larger lock to accommodate modern ocean-going vessels.

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, sits on the House Appropriations Committee. He says upgrading the locks is a top policy priority of Michigan’s congressional delegation.

“It’s a 50-year-old piece of infrastructure, and it’s vital to our economy and getting that iron ore through there. And, so, very exciting to have him talk about the importance of that relative to improving our infrastructure.”

President Trump endorsed the upgrade at a speech in Macomb County over the weekend. Governor Rick Snyder responded by naming Lt. Governor Brian Calley to lead discussions with the White House.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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