US senators pushing federal officials to reconsider building another navigational lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, noting that only one lock can handle large vessels hauling most freight between Lake Superior, other lakes, posing disruption risk

SAULT STE. MARIE, Michigan , May 26, 2014 () – A group of U.S. senators is pressing federal officials to reconsider building another navigational lock at Sault Ste. Marie to provide a link for Great Lakes freighters.

The Poe Lock is the only one of the Soo Locks that can accommodate large vessels hauling most of the freight between Lake Superior and the other lakes. If the Poe were disabled for long, it would disrupt shipments of iron ore, coal and other crucial commodities.

In a letter to the Corps this week, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and 10 colleagues said an agency cost-benefit analysis wrongly concluded that all cargo shipped through the locks could be transported by rail if necessary.

The senators asked the Corps to redo the analysis and make construction of a second Poe-sized lock a priority.

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