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$479 million appropriation spells good news for plans to build a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie

A crane loads shipping containers onto trucks from a docked container ship.
A crane loads shipping containers onto trucks from a docked container ship.

The Army Corps of Engineers is moving ahead with plans to construct a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan after receiving full funding from the passage of the federal bipartisan infrastructure act.

With the $479 million added to the budget, the full amount for the new lock totals $1.371 billion.

Some of the currently operating locks are over one hundred years old, and officials say they are overdue for modernization.

The Poe lock is the only lock large enough to accommodate modern commercial transport ships. The main focus of the modernization project is to construct another large lock to help strengthen Michigan's infrastructure.

The work is being done in three steps. Step one is deepening the channel to fit the larger modern ships, step two is constructing the upstream approach walls, and step three, constructing the lock itself. According to officials, the first step should be completed this summer. Step two is expected to take a couple of years, as will step three.

The project is expected to be completed in 2030.