Michigan is offering $50 million as start-up money for upgrading the Soo locks in the Upper Penisula.
It’s part of a budget deal between Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders. They announced the earmark at a conference on Mackinac Island this week.
Snyder says there’s only one lock that can handle the largest freighters traveling on the Great Lakes.
“If something was to happen to that lock, it would be economically devastating, not just to the state of Michigan, but to our nation,” says Snyder.
The project has been stalled since the 1980s. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not made upgrading the locks a priority.
The estimated cost of the project is as high as $1 billion.
President Donald Trump announced his support for a new lock a month ago at a rally in Macomb County.