Transportation Secretary Foxx urges more Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway investment

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a blog posting Wednesday that the Department of Transportation considers the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system to be one of the nation’s most valuable resources, but it needs further investments before it can reach its full potential in benefiting the U.S. economy.

“If bundled together, the eight states and two Canadian provinces that share this system would comprise the world's third largest economy, behind only the U.S. and China,” Foxx said. “The binational seaway is a vital, environmentally sustainable artery for trade into and out of the United States and Canada, supporting $34.6 billion of economic activity, providing America's Opportunity Belt with access to world markets and supporting 227,000 jobs. The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), which maintains and operates the two U.S. locks, delivers plenty of return value on America's investment in the seaway.”

Foxx recently visited the SLSDC in Massena, New York, to honor local SLSDC employees and emergency responders. Recently, a cruise ship hit a bumper within the Eisenhower Lock. Their response was crucial to helping the passengers with medical care, and in less than 48 hours, the ship resumed service.

“Generally, there has never been a safer time to travel or move freight in our country’s history,” Foxx said. “And we are getting better and better at preventing accidents from occurring. The seaway is a part of this legacy. But in the event that an accident does happen, we have to be prepared. We need to have a plan in place. We need to have folks who are well trained and who know what to do. There needs to be folks who are capable of mitigating damage and potentially even saving lives.”

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