DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will spend $32.4 million in the coming year for a channel deepening project that will be an important step toward construction of a new Great Lakes shipping lock.
The funds will be used to finish design and begin construction work on the upstream approach channel of the Soo Locks complex at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
The locks raise and lower vessels on the St. Marys River, enabling passage between Lakes Huron and Superior.
Just one of them can accommodate large freighters that haul iron ore, coal and other bulk commodities. The Corps this year endorsed construction of a second large-sized lock.
The $1 billion project could be finished in seven years if Congress continues to provide funding.