Trump signs bill authorizing long-delayed replacement Soo Lock

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
Soo Locks

Washington — President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed legislation that includes authorization for $922.4 million to build a large replacement lock at the Upper Peninsula's Soo Locks.

Congress had sent Trump the water-infrastructure bill after approving it this fall. Funding for the lock will need to be appropriated at a later date.

The legislation relied on a cost estimate by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a report this year recommending a 1,200-foot-long lock to mirror the 49-year-old Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 

The report also provided an economic analysis that finally allows the project to compete for construction funding after decades of delay.

The Poe is the only one of the four locks owned and operated by the Army Corps in the Soo big enough to handle the largest freighters that carry 89 percent of the cargo through the corridor.

An unexpected outage could disrupt the supply chain for steel production and manufacturing.