Yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its final FY2018 workplan detailing spending levels for Corps projects throughout the Great Lakes. As a reminder, the Corps decides final spending levels for each project based on the Administration’s original budget proposal, plus any additional funds made available to the Corps by Congress. Because Congress can no longer earmark funds to specific projects, final spending decisions are left to the agency.
The FY2018 final workplace is filled with good news for the Great Lakes region. Most startling is the inclusion of $57.58 million from the Corps’ construction account to conduct major rehabilitation of the Soo Locks. The plan includes an additional $15.82 million for Soo Lock repairs from the Corps’ operation and maintenance account. Thus, Soo Lock rehabilitation funding this year will total a whopping $73.4 million! For comparison sake, last year’s workplan included $9.6 million for lock repair. The previous year included $14.6 million.
The workplan includes almost $19 million for breakwater repairs in Cleveland, Chicago, Burns Harbor, Buffalo and other key Great Lakes ports. Finally, the plan includes a total of $55.63 million to dredge Great Lakes harbors.
These robust funding levels are a reflection of the progress that has been made in lobbying Congress to increase overall Corps funding. All Great Lakes navigation stakeholders should thank our Members of Congress for their strong support, which is reflected in these numbers.
To view the Corps’ final FY2018 workplan for the Great Lakes, click here http://www.greatlakesports.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/FY18-GL-Budget-Summary-with-Workplan-Additions.pdf