LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan’s commitment of up to $52 million toward construction of a new Great Lakes shipping lock could accelerate the project’s completion by a year and save taxpayers $30 million.

Gov. Rick Snyder and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the figures Wednesday while announcing a memorandum of agreement.

Michigan’s funds will be used to pay for design work and a portion of a channel deepening project that will be an important step toward building a second large-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie to accommodate freighters that haul iron ore and other bulk commodities. The federal government is spending $32 million on the channel deepening.

Congress has authorized funding for the second large Soo Lock but must appropriate funds over numerous years to pay for the $1 billion project.

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