US Senator wants new icebreakers on Great Lakes

US Senator wants new icebreakers on Great Lakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Commercial shipping on the Great Lakes is a big money maker in the U.P. and one U.S. Senator is working to make shipping a little easier.

Senator Gary Peters applauded the passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, which authorizes the design and construction of a new heavy icebreaker vessel. The great lakes have seen record levels of ice cover in recent years which limits shipping channels on the lakes. Last winter, ice cover contributed to nearly $355 million dollars in lost revenue.

The current fleet includes only nine ice–breaking capable ships, some of which are nearly 40 years old. The USCGC Mackinaw is the only heavy icebreaker operating on the great lakes.