"I am pleased this is moving forward and thankful for the critical investment in the district. I share constituents' disappointment that our current representative did not see the value in joining Republican and Democratic colleagues to improve Michigan's aging infrastructure with the bipartisan agreement." – Dr. Bob Lorinser
WASHINGTON — The Army Corps of Engineers will receive $479 million from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to invest in modernizing the Soo Locks. With this investment, there is now enough funding to fully fund the Corp’s budget to finish building a new lock.
U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, who represents constituents in and around this crucial shipping gateway, voted 'No' on the bipartisan infrastructure investment, a no-vote Dr. Bob Lorinser deeply condemned.
In addition to supporting the nation’s supply chain, the Soo Locks project will support hundreds of jobs. Project Manager Mollie Mahoney says, “We anticipate the construction will create roughly 1,200 jobs per year, and about 600 of those are direct jobs, most of which will be on site.”
Through the Soo Locks, Great Lakes freighters carry agricultural products and materials our manufacturers and military depend on. The new lock will mean there is a modern lock to handle larger vessels and will prevent failure of the locks, which would have devastating consequences for the economy and national security. Michigan senators have led the effort for years to secure enough funding to complete this new lock—$1.3 billion in total.
If the majority of Congress voted like Jack Bergman, there would be no final funding for the Soo Locks in his own district.
Republicans and Democrats in Michigan agreed this bill was "transformational" for Michigan. It includes unprecedented funding—to finish modernizing the Soo Locks, rebuild our long-neglected roads and bridges, keep our drinking water safe, bring high-speed internet to communities across Michigan, invest in electric vehicles, and make the largest single investment ever in the Great Lakes.
The Act also strengthens our Buy American laws.
The improvements of the bipartisan infrastructure package will be the most significant single infusion into our country’s infrastructure in over a decade.
Northern Michigan must focus on what the investment can do for the area. Dr. Lorinser said the federal funding will be the most significant single infusion into our country’s infrastructure in over a decade.
This investment is desperately needed. This bill creates family-sustaining jobs, advances careers, and will help small businesses grow. It upgrades crumbling infrastructure. The bipartisan agreement ━ which my opponent opposed ━ will ignite the economy and put money in working families’ pockets and food on the table, all without raising taxes.
The most recent report card on Michigan’s Infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state an overall GPA of D+. Michigan’s civil engineers studied 13 infrastructure categories. Of those 13, nine infrastructure categories are in mediocre condition, and four are in poor condition.
Michigan’s Failing Infrastructure Grades by the ASCE
The entire investment is a game-changer for the First District. It will help Northern Michigan build a robust energy grid, advance public transportation, provide access to clean drinking water for hundreds of thousands, and start to meet the broadband needs of rural Michiganders, many of whom live in the First District. It’s truly a transformative, historic bipartisan investment. A Historic Investment in Michigan:
$7.3 billion for highway repairs for Michigan
$1 billion for environmental protection of the Great Lakes
$563 million for bridge replacement and repairs
$100 million to provide broadband coverage and connect at least 398,000 residents to the Internet
The legislation would provide $65 billion in investment to improve broadband, with at least $100 million directed towards providing broadband coverage to at least 398,000 residents in Michigan. It aims to lower the price of internet services, create price transparency, and help more low-income households access the internet. Investment in Broadband At a state level, the infrastructure bill would provide $100 million to extend broadband coverage and provide nearly 2.5 million low-income Michigan households the opportunity to apply for funds to help afford internet access, a goal Dr. Lorinser champions. Investment in Infrastructure Michigan stands to receive $7.3 billion in federal highway aid and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs, as well as the opportunity to compete with other states for billions more in bridge and road projects. The investment in our infrastructure is vital as our great state has received poor marks for years for its infrastructure. A report from five years ago stated that much of Michigan’s infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life. Jobs – “The bottom line.” The way to attract new jobs is to be a place where people can work and live, where healthcare and education are superb, and where we welcome innovation. I commend both sides of the Congressional aisle for achieving compromise. The bill does not represent all that Democrats want, nor everything the Republicans seek. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) stated the legislation “provides a once-in-a-generation investment in our country’s physical infrastructure without raising taxes.” Whenever I evaluate federal legislation, I’m looking to ensure each community in Northern Michigan is a priority. Investments in broadband and infrastructure ━ two primary components of this historic legislation ━ are investments I support. My opponent has mislabeled this legislation and voted no. Unfortunately, Jack Bergman's focus is not on the crucial necessity and positive attributes of the overdue investment. If I were Northern Michigan’s Congressman, I would have voted for this bill because it undoubtedly will help thousands of our citizens economically thrive.
# # #
About Dr. Bob Lorinser
Dr. Bob Lorinser is running for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s First District.
After Dr. Bob Lorinser received three advanced degrees (Medical Doctor, Masters of Social Work, and Masters in Public Health), he worked as a social worker in a Veteran’s Affairs Hospital and as a resident doctor with the Indian Health Service, serving the Navajo Nation. In 1989, he found his home in Michigan’s First District, where he practiced family medicine for three decades.
Dr. Bob joined the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Services in 2011 to serve as a diplomat and Regional Medical Officer. The Lorinsers served the United States for ten years, with tours in Pakistan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Iraq.
When he returned to the states in 2020, Dr. Bob offered his services as Medical Director of Marquette County Health Department. For more information, visit VoteDrBob.com.