US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District

The Corps of Engineers meets with governor’s office about new lock study

Published March 28, 2017

DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District leadership and economic study officials met with Michigan state officials to discuss the Corps’ economic reevaluation for a new Poe-sized lock.

During the meeting Corps officials spelled out how it will conduct a portion of its economic reevaluation for a new Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. They talked about the Corps’ process of developing a benefit-to-cost analysis; what assumptions will be made during the analysis; how the Corps translates that information into a model they can use to put into a report; and how and what resources the Corps is allocating to the study.

“The Soo Locks are our number one priority in the Detroit District and we welcome the strong interest from our state partners in the new lock project,” said Lt. Col. Dennis P. Sugrue, district engineer, Detroit District. “This meeting was productive and enabled us to validate and challenge assumptions that will help produce an accurate report.”

The Detroit District initiated the economic reevaluation study for the new Soo Lock in 2016. The second look will document the updated economics from the 2005 Limited Reevaluation Report and establish an updated benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) for the construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. A draft report is estimated to be prepared by December 2017.

The economic study includes a significant amount of economic and engineering analysis to include: updating commodity forecasts and transportation costs; adding component reliability and failure probabilities; calculating costs of alternate transportation modes; updating and clarifying the total project cost estimate; and new economic modeling. This work will give us the costs saving on moving goods through the locks verses the next cheapest alternative form of transportation.

The economic reevaluation will then include a new computation of the BCR for a second Poe-sized lock.

The Detroit District operates and maintains the Soo Locks along with 94 harbors and connecting channels on lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and the portion of Lake Erie that borders the state of Michigan. Located on the St. Marys River, Michigan, the locks have been a part of the Corps’ navigation mission since 1881.



Lynn Rose
313-300-0662 (cell)

Release no. 17-004