Kaptur: U.S. Army Corps to modernize Soo Locks and invest in Ohio ports to improve Great Lakes infrastructure

November 23, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, announced several investments from the fiscal year 2019 work plan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Northern Ohio as well as the Soo Locks, which are critical for moving industrial materials across the Great Lakes. The Energy and Water Subcommittee oversees all spending by the Army Corps.

“These investments are an important step toward modernizing our Great Lakes ports and waterway infrastructure,” said Kaptur. “Northern Ohio and our region are the agriculture and industrial center of the United States. These investments in critical infrastructure will fortify our commitment to creating good jobs and strengthening commerce across our Heartland.”

  • Soo Locks – The work plan includes $32.4 million for work on a new lock. This money will allow the USACE to begin the initial work necessary to construct a second Poe-sized lock.
    • The Soo Locks are the only waterway connection between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  Thus, it connects the mining of raw materials in the Iron Range of Minnesota—the source of nearly all domestic iron ore—to all the economic activity that flows from our steel industry and is critical to supplying our national defense needs. 
    • This new project will combine two of the oldest, smaller locks at the site into one large lock to complement the 1,200-foot Poe Lock which handles nearly all of the commercial freight.
  • Port of Cleveland – The work plan includes an additional $8.4 million for annual dredging of the Cuyahoga River.
  • Lorain Harbor – The work plan includes $2.9 million for maintenance of the breakwater.
  • Toledo Harbor – The work plan includes $3.8 million for annual dredging of the Maumee River.