Members of Congress Tour Soo Locks

Members of Congress toured part of Sault Ste. Marie Friday afternoon to take a closer look at the effort to build a new lock.

It is part of the energy and water committee’s efforts to work with the Army Corps of engineers on projects with a national priority.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur from Ohio is the chair of the committee.

She was joined by Congressman John Moolenaar, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite and senior leaders of the Army Corps of Engineers.

When they met with stakeholders after the tour, they stressed the importance of the Soo locks; both for national security and for manufacturing.

The Army Corps of Engineers hopes this tour will show congress how important the Soo Locks are to the nation.

“Right now, we have ships that are coming through here with about ninety percent of the iron ore that his country needs to be able to do our job said Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Semonite.

“So this is about informing congress. These elected officials here are not only committed to the strategic importance of this but after being with them, they’re passionate about making sure that they’re taking the best information back to D.C.”

The new lock would be similar in size to the existing Poe Lock (named after engineer Orlando Poe).

So far, only 13% of the $900-million needed for its construction has been funded.