Transportation & Infrastructure
Michigan’s infrastructure – from the airports and waterways to rails and roads – fuels our economic development and is vital to our growth. Deteriorating infrastructure hinders our ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. We can no longer put off sound investment in this critical network, which requires leadership and investment from all levels of government.
It is well known that Michigan put the world on wheels; however, Michigan is also home to the linchpin of the North American industrial economy, the Soo Locks. An extended, unscheduled closure of this single lock would have devastating effects felt across the country. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must work with Congress and local stakeholders to build a replacement lock. I am committed to working with the Corps and my colleagues in Congress to bring this vital project to fruition.
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And, we have our former state senator, John Moolenaar (now a U.S. congressman), and current Congressman Jack Bergman — both Republicans –to thank for that. The two accompanied Trump to a political rally at Selfridge Air Force Base in April, where the President, after being lobbied by the two, addressed his support for building a new lock in Sault Ste. Marie.
“I’m very optimistic because the president fully embraced it, the Army Corps of Engineers has demonstrated it for security and economics. Things are aligned in such a way that we will move forward on it. But in Washington you’re never done until you’re done,” Moolenaar, said.
“After more than a decade of inaction in Washington, the Soo Locks are receiving the attention they deserve and progress is being made,” said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland in a release.
“With the president coming out showing his support, Homeland Security showing support, and now, the Army Corps of Engineers, I think we’ve had a lot of progress on that front,” he said. “It’s good for Michigan. The taconite, which goes into our iron ore and steel for autos, appliances and other manufacturers comes through there, so it’s vital for the whole industrial, manufacturing supply chain in North America.”
"Today's legislation makes it crystal clear: President Trump, Republicans and Democrats support a new lock in the Soo," said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, who has been pushing for authorization of the project and is likely to be a key member to secure funding as the state's only member of the Appropriations Committee. "After 50 years of harsh winters and extraordinary maintenance, we need to build a second lock to be ready in case the one lock we have fails."