Kaptur Statement After Army Corps of Engineers Announces $53 Million Award to Deepen Soo Lock Channel

February 7, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, released the following statement after the Army Corps of Engineers announced a $52,672,800 contract to carry out the first phase of construction on the New Lock at the Soo.


The much-anticipated mega-project will be constructed in three phases. Trade West Construction will receive almost $53 million to complete this first phase of construction, which involves deepening the upstream approach channel to a depth of 30 feet. Construction will begin in spring 2020 and will take approximately two years to accomplish.


"I am pleased to see that the construction of the New Soo Lock is progressing," said Rep. Kaptur. "This is an important milestone in the project and will ensure the project stays on time and on budget. The Soo Lock must remain fully operational. Without it, our national security and the economies of not only the Great Lakes region but the entire country would be undermined."


Phases two and three of the project are still in design phase and involve rehabilitation of the upstream approach walls and construction on the new lock chamber, respectively. Upstream approach walls construction, phase two, will stabilize the existing approach walls to allow for modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock. This phase of the project will be advertised for bid in February 2020. The third phase, construction of the new lock chamber, will include rehabilitating downstream approach walls and is expected to be advertised for bid in spring of 2021.


A recent New Soo Lock Economic Validation study found that the Soo Locks are directly or indirectly tied to $46.2 billion in output for the Great Lakes region and $58.2 billion for the Nation. Moreover, this output is associated with 142,000 jobs in the Great Lakes region and 237,000 across the Nation. In a recent letter, Rep. Kaptur led a bipartisan group of 41 Members of Congress to ensure continued, efficient progress in building the new lock. In the FY 2020 Appropriations bill, Congress approved $50,000,000 of additional funding within the Construction account to ensure the Soo Locks project capability is fully funded this fiscal year.