Bergman Leads Bipartisan Effort to Rebuild Soo Locks
Washington - Citing national security implications, steel production, and economic impact, Congressman Jack Bergman urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to use new funding to complete design work and begin construction on a new Poe-sized Lock.
"An unexpected outage at the Poe Lock would be disastrous to the U.S. and global economy. In March, Secretary James (Army, Civil Works) testified to a House Committee that building a new lock is not only a priority but additionally, not building a new Poe-sized Lock is a 'very dangerous situation for national security.' Building a new Lock in Sault Ste. Marie has been, and will continue to be, my number one infrastructure priority for Michigan's First District," said Bergman.
This week, Congressman Bergman authored a bipartisan letter to Lt. General Semonite and Assistant Secretary of the Army James, requesting USACE prioritize the Soo Locks project and utilize additional appropriated funds to begin design and construction work on a new Poe-sized Lock. Steel plates used as armor for ships, Abrams tanks, and other military applications rely solely on the locks as a shipping route. Even a short-term closure of the Lock would have large implications on military readiness and national security.
Bergman continued, "Every additional year that our Great Lakes steel mills depend on the 50-year old Poe Lock as their only iron ore transportation gateway risks the production of vitally needed military weapon systems. The Soo Locks project cannot be delayed any longer for the sake of our military and economic supply chains."
Since taking office in January, Rep. Bergman has lead the fight to build a new Poe-sized lock. In June of 2017, after leading a bipartisan tour of the Soo Locks with both of Michigan's U.S. Senators and members of Michigan's Congressional delegation, Rep. Bergman introduced the Soo Locks Modernization Act.
Additionally, after Rep. Bergman secured funding for the Army Corps to complete the Soo Locks feasibility study, USACE is set to release the study in June.
- Full text of Rep. Bergman's letter can be found HERE.
- Full text of the Soo Locks Modernization Act can be found HERE.