SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — A federal report lists upgrading the Soo Locks shipping complex among 40 proposed infrastructure projects nationwide that would give the economy a significant boost.
The locks network at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, enables vessels to move between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes.
The study says more than 60 percent of the ships in the U.S. and Canadian fleet are so large that they can fit through only one of the locks. If the Poe Lock were disabled, it could cause shortages of raw materials needed by steelmakers, utilities and other industries.
The report says building a second Poe-sized lock would pump up to $1.7 billion into the economy — about three times more than it would cost.
The project was authorized in 1986 but hasn’t been funded.