Lt. Gov. Calley Visits the Soo Locks, Talks Critical Need for Upgrade

Lt. Governor Brian Calley spent Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie visiting the Soo Locks.

Calley spoke about the importance of the locks as it relates to the state and nation’s economy and why an upgrade is long overdue.

Lt. Governor Calley said he wants to capitalize on the comments President Trump made during his weekend rally, and keep the issue of the aging locks both in the state and national spotlight.

“There really is no substitute for the president making this a priority, and that gives it new life and new energy,” he, said.

While unveiling the new “Fix the Soo Locks” website, the lieutenant governor spoke about the economy’s reliance on the locks and what an unplanned shutdown could mean.

“It literally is the key to keeping industry across our country working. An unscheduled in-operability of these locks even for a relatively short period of time, could cost the United State’s economy 11 million jobs,” he explained.

Jobs at places like Carmeuse Lime and Stone, which has 350 employees and multiple locations in Northern Michigan.

“We probably would have to go into some type of lay off, reduce our workforce it would impact their lives,” Director of Operations Ray LeClair said.

The lieutenant governor also took time to thank Representative Jack Bergman for getting in the president’s ear.

Both Calley and the congressman are calling for funding for a new Poe-size lock.

“It needs to be done, not just because it’s a great opportunity for work and investment in this area, but this literally is one of the most important infrastructure projects anywhere in our country,” Calley, added.

It’s estimated that constructing a new Poe-size lock would cost more than $600 million, but it could benefit the economy by $1.7 billion.