President Trump expressed support for renovating the Soo Locks while in Michigan for a rally over the weekend, a major announcement that has huge implications for Northern Michigan, the UP, and the entire Great Lakes State.
Congressmen Jack Bergman, Paul Mitchell, and John Moolenaar pushed for the project while speaking with the President before his speech.
The half billion dollar project has been talked about for decades, but advocates are now more hopeful than ever something will be done.
Trump told supporters the locks are "going to hell" and we’re going to get them fixed up.”
Governor Rick Snyder has delegated Lt. Governor Brian Calley to work with the White House as the project moves forward.
Calley launched a website thanking President Trump earlier this week.
According to the Detroit News:
"President Donald Trump’s unexpected embrace of a half-billion dollar Soo Locks modernization project has given new momentum to a three-decade effort to update the aging freight passage infrastructure in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Speaking to a capacity crowd Saturday night during a campaign-style rally Total Sports Park in Washington Township, the first-term Republican promised to “fix” the aging locks after discussing the project with Michigan lawmakers on his way to the venue.
“The Soo Locks are going to hell,” Trump told enthusiastic supporters who had spent hours in line to see him speak. “You know that, right? And we’re going to get them fixed up.”
Michigan’s congressional delegation has long pushed for federal funding to build a new 1,200-foot-long lock to mirror the 49-year-old Poe Lock, which handles large freighters carrying iron ore. Congress authorized the project in 1986 but it has repeatedly stalled amid scrutiny by the Army Corps of Engineers.
“For the first time, we have the president’s attention,” said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association. “It’s a big deal ... I’ve literally been fighting the Army Corps of Engineers for over 10 years on their flawed calculus and their flawed assumptions.”