Skip to content

Funding for Soo Lock expansion passed by House

$75.3 million in funding included in year-end government Appropriations bill to be used to begin design and construction of new lock
Congressman John Moolenaar and Congreswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) meet with Captain Paul Berger onboard the Mesabi Miner while it transits the Soo Locks on August 22, 2019. Photo provided

Today, the House of Representatives passed historic funding for the construction of a new, second lock that will convey freighters between Lake Superior and the St. Marys River.

“This is a historic day. For the first time in decades, legislation funding the construction of a new Soo lock is on track to become law. This is a major priority for our state and as our state’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee I have worked hard to get this funding through Congress,” said Congressman John Moolenaar. “A new lock will create jobs and help ensure Great Lakes shipping can move the raw materials needed for American manufacturing and Michigan-made products.”

The $75.3 million in funding is included in a year-end government Appropriations bill and it will be used to begin the design and construction of a new lock. Additional funding will need to be appropriated annually and the entire project is expected to cost nearly a billion dollars by the time it is completed in the years ahead. The Army Corps has already listed available positions and a Soo Locks Virtual Job Fair has been set up by Michigan Works to recruit engineers and construction workers. InvestUP, an economic development organization, estimates the new lock will create 1,100 jobs.

Congressman Moolenaar previously voted for the funding in May when it passed the House Appropriations Committee.

Today’s legislation funds the federal government through the end of its 2020 fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, 2020. It is expected to pass the Senate later this week and then go to the president.