Upton Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Soo Locks Legislation
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, this week joined colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in co-sponsoring legislation, authored by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Michigan, and U.S Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, to authorize construction of a new lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie.
“This is about Michigan jobs and our economy. During our bipartisan delegation trip to the Soo Locks we discussed the critical need to upgrade and build a replacement lock, ensuring this vibrant commercial gateway remains open and operational. Not completing this project could lead to significant economic consequences for both Michigan and the country. By investing in our future, we can ensure Michigan stays on the cutting edge of job and economic growth. I look forward to continuing working closely with my Michigan colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bipartisan legislation across the finish line.”
The legislation, the Soo Locks Modernization Act, authorizes the necessary level of funding to construct another Poe-sized lock (1,200 feet long, 110 feet wide, and 32 feet deep) to facilitate increasing size of vessels passing through the Locks. The Poe is the only lock able to handle large lake freighters sailing the upper Great Lakes bringing iron ore and other materials to manufacturers around the country. A report by the Department of Homeland Security concluded that a six-month closure of the Poe Lock would bring steel production and manufacturing industries to an effective halt and cause Michigan’s unemployment rate to rise as high as 20 percent.
The legislation is also co-sponsored by U.S Senator Gary Peters, and U.S. Reps. Sandy Levin, Bill Huizenga, Tim Walberg, Dan Kildee, Mike Bishop, Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence, John Moolenaar, Dave Trott, and Paul Mitchell.
To see pictures from Upton’s trip to the Soo Locks, please click here.