New Soo Lock economic validation study complete

Published July 2, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces it has recently completed the New Soo Lock Economic Validation Study.

The completed report has documented updated economics and established a new Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.42 in order to seek an updated authorization for construction of a second Poe sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

"Now that we have completed the economic validation study we look forward to the next steps to get a new lock built at the Soo," said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District.

Now that the report is complete, the agency’s budgeting process for implementation of the project will be followed and the project will compete with other construction projects throughout the country. This project is currently authorized to be 100 percent federally funded. USACE is requesting funding consideration beginning in the fiscal year 2020 President’s Budget.

Background: The Soo Locks are situated on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and consist of two operational locks allowing vessels to transit the 21’ elevation change at the St. Marys Falls. The Soo Locks are nationally critical infrastructure and the reliability of this critical node in the Great Lakes Navigation System (GLNS) is essential to U.S. manufacturing and National Security. The benefits of this project reflect a reduction in risk associated with the Poe Lock being the existing single point of failure for the Nation's value chain of taconite pellets, steel production, and manufacturing. Currently, disruptions to Poe Lock serviceability would impact the supply chain, which would directly impact production of Advanced High Strength Steel. That disruption would, in turn, impact manufacturing, particularly the automobile industry.

The Soo Locks Economic Validation Report supporting documents will be available on the Detroit District website at:

Lynn Rose
313-300-0662 (cell)

Release no. 18-038