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Congress OKs construction of new Great Lakes shipping lock

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Congress has taken a big step toward building a long-sought shipping lock on the waterway that links lakes Huron and Superior.

Authorization for the Soo Locks project was included in a water-resources bill that cleared the Senate on Wednesday. The proposal now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The current complex at Sault Ste. Marie has just one lock suitable for the sort of 1,000-foot freighters that now haul iron ore and other cargo from Lake Superior along the St. Marys River to the other Great Lakes.

The bill would allow the construction of a second large lock, which the shipping industry and elected officials say is needed in case the older lock should be disabled.

For the $1 billion project to move forward, Congress must still appropriate money for it using separate legislation.

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