Lake Carriers' Association president hopeful new Soo Lock project could be 'efficiently funded'

Soo Locks picture. (WLUC File Photo)
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - The president of the Lake Carriers' Association is hoping to keep funding for the new Soo Lock on the fast track.

President Jim Weakley says he's been working towards getting a new lock for about 15 years.

He says the new lock is needed to provide a back up in case one lock needs to be taken out of service for maintenance.

Funding is being approved through a variety of sources, including federally, and Weakley says he's hopeful they can get the project done efficiently as well.

"We really hit a milestone this year. For the first time in the President's budget, the President proposed $75 million building that new lock and in addition to that, there's probably another $30 to $40 million that we're going to try and get to keep the lock on what we call the 'efficient funding level.' If they keep the lock efficiently funded, it'll be built in as little as seven years," Weakley said.

Navigation season through the locks is 42 weeks each year.

During that time, about 7,000 passages are completed through the locks.