SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer began her three day tour of the Upper Peninsula Tuesday morning in Sault Ste. Marie. There, the Democrat got a closer look at the Soo Locks.
Governor Whitmer began her day with an economic development meeting. There, she spoke about how the state needs to work quickly to fix old, outdated infrastructure.
"It gets more expensive and more dangerous every year that goes by that we don't actually get focused on fixing these problems," said Whitmer.
She then toured the Soo Locks, a key piece of infrastructure in Michigan, and one that is critical to the state's economy.
"It helps inform how serious the work is that we have to do," said Whitmer.
At the end of the tour, the Governor stressed the importance of getting a deal done with the federal government to build a new Lock.
"I'm grateful that we're making some strides and that it looks like we are on track to finally get things moving, but we can't let up for a second," said Whitmer.
On the federal side, Representative Jack Bergman, (R-1st District) says that he is trying to work with the president towards a deal. The project is estimated at $1 billion total.
In a statement to TV6 and Fox UP, Bergman echoed Governor Whitmer’s remarks, saying, “The Soo Locks have been my number one infrastructure priority since taking office three years ago. Having worked to gain the interest of my colleagues, and the support of President Trump, we are now on track to get this project moving for the first time in decades. If the Poe Lock were to have an unexpected long-term closure it would crush American manufacturing and cost nearly 11 million Americans their jobs. It’s imperative we keep the momentum moving forward to build a new Poe-sized Lock in the Soo - not only for our state, but for the security of our nation.”
State Senator Wayne Schmidt, (R-37th District), was glad to have governor in his District, and hopes that she will continue the fight for a new Lock.
"This is project that isn't Republican or Democratic, it's about taking care of Michigan, and our Great Lakes neighbors, and our entire country, and so I was pleased to have Governor Whitmer up here," said Schmidt.
Whitmer continued her tour of the Upper Peninsula in Newberry later in the afternoon, and will be in Marquette County Wednesday, and will speak at the U.P. State Fair on Thursday.