In the current Soo arrangement, the big vessels can transport by using the old Poe Lock. As Mr. Trump signed the “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” part of this Act will go to improvements at the locks. However, the Congress still needs to allocate the actual funding.
The Poe Lock is very important for the steel production in the US. In fact, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which maintains the locks, said that in a span of 10 years, from 2007 to 2017, the Soo Locks accommodated over 72.5 million tons on an average annual basis, including taconite pellets 57%, coal 21%, grain 11%, aggregates (limestone) 6%, and other commodities 5%. What is more, in 2017, 89% of the total tonnage sailing through the Soo Locks Complex passed through the Poe Lock.
Now, the new plans aim to combine two smaller locks into a second larger of 1,200 ft. Furthermore, national security backs up the construction of the new lock, while the Soo links Lake Superior with the other Lakes.
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