Michigan members of Congress vow to get Soo Locks funding

Members of Michigan's congressional delegation speaking at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are vowing to finally secure a long-sought upgrade of the Soo Locks.

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters and U.S. House members announced bipartisan legislation Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. The delegation and Gov. Rick Snyder plan to tour the locks at Sault Ste. Marie on Friday.

Soo Locks, MacArthur Lock, Sault Ste. Marie
Inside the MacArthur Lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. (File)

The locks allow commercial shipping between Lakes Superior and Huron and on into other Great Lakes.

A new lock for 1,000-foot vessels was authorized 31 years ago. But the funding has never come through, and now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying

Officials are worried that a prolonged shutdown of the lock for large boats — which handles 75 percent of cargo moved through the locks — would cripple the economy.