Portman, Stabenow Applaud $742 Million in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Funding Awarded to Key Great Lakes Infrastructure Projects

January 21, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) applauded the Army Corps of Engineer’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 spend plan, which allocates $742 million provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the Soo Locks and Brandon Road Lock and Dam projects. The Soo Locks project will receive $516.2 million in funding, while the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project will receive $225.8 million. Portman and Stabenow helped spearhead enactment of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last year. 

Soo Locks, located on the St. Mary’s River, allow ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes, with an average of 10,000 ships traveling through the locks each year and approximately 80 million tons of commercial commodities pass through the Soo Locks annually, according to the Army Corps. The IIJA money will be used to fund the completion of a new replacement lock and major rehabilitation at the existing lock and dam. Brandon Road Lock and Dam, located on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, Illinois, allows barge travel between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The Brandon Road project will install a suite of technologies to prevent the invasion of invasive Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes. The IIJA funding will allow planning, engineering, and design to be completed and project construction to begin.

“With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act being signed into law, Congress was able to take another vital step in supporting our Great Lakes,” said Portman, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. “The money from this historic legislation is now able to fund much needed Army Corps infrastructure projects, ensuring we have strong water infrastructure to support the booming economic activity of the Great Lakes region while also protecting the Lakes’ expansive freshwater ecosystem. I applaud these critical investments.”

“After a hard-fought effort, we finally have full funding of the Corp’s budget to finish building the new lock at the Soo Locks. In Michigan, we know how vital the Locks are to our economy and our national defense. We also know that we are on borrowed time until something happens that shuts them down. Additionally, if we want to stop Asian carp from devastating our Great Lakes, we need to cut them off at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. Thanks to our bipartisan efforts in Congress, and with the President’s leadership, we are able to finish the new lock as soon as possible and kickstart construction at Brandon Road Lock and Dam,” said Stabenow.

NOTE: The FY 2022 Army Corps spend plan also includes critical investments for the State of Ohio, totaling more than $20 million for projects across the state. This funding will support updates to aging infrastructure, provide the state with more tools to address invasive species, and complete feasibility studies for new civil works projects.