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Soo Locks project costs are expected to rise

Soo locks project photo.jpg
Creative Commons

The project to update the Soo Locks will cost up to three times more than originally anticipated.

The Detroit News is reporting that inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor issues are contributing to the increased costs. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is in the middle of contract negotiations and has not released specific data.

Jim Weakley is President of the Lake Carriers’ Association, a group that represents the interests of commercial shipping. He’s been working the Soo Locks project for 15 years. His reaction to the report:

"There was a kind of a combination of disappointment, sadness, and yet still some encouragement because both the Democrats and the Republicans are still supportive of the project," said Weakley

Weakley says he fears if the project is not added to next year’s federal budget it will delay construction for another year.

"So the reason that it's a timing challenge is the FY-23 budget, the President's budget, is probably in preparation now with within the Federal government and my guess is...there was no money in the FY-23 President's budget for that project," said Weakley.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Sault St. Marie did not respond to our request for comment.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.