Lawmakers discuss Soo Locks at hearing

SAULT STE. MARIE — State senators from three different committees met publicly in Sault Ste. Marie Monday to discuss the future of the Soo Locks.

Senate Resolution 105 calls for upgrades to the locks to ease national security and economic concerns. Senator Tom Casperson would like to see a whole new lock built to accommodate the size of today’s ships.

“We’re hearing watching the ships coming through and it’s been impressive,” said Casperson about the Soo Locks. “We’ve had one (ship) go through already and we’ve got another one coming in behind us. We’re starting to see the importance and the commerce that goes through these locks. We’re trying to get ourselves up to speed on just how much volume and how important it is because of the rebuild that’s needed here. Hopefully we can get the message out so people can see just how big this operation is and the need for it.”

The resolution, if passed by the senate, would be sent to President Obama and Congress. The Soo Locks first opened back in 1855.

Currently only one of the four Soo Locks is large enough to handle the size of today’s ships.