Chao Commemorates Seaway’s 60th Anniversary

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao marked the 60th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway September 24 at a ceremony at the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y. Chao was joined by Transport Canada Director General of Marine Policy Marc-Yves Bertin, Rep. Elise Stefanik, (R-N.Y.), U.S. Seaway Deputy Administrator Craig Middlebrook, Canadian Seaway President and CEO Terence Bowles, and U.S. and Canadian government and transportation officials.

“For 60 years, the St. Lawrence Seaway has been a safe and reliable gateway for global commerce, further demonstrating our nation’s strong and strategic partnership with Canada,” Chao said.

At the event, Chao and Stefanik announced $6 million in funding for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation to construct a new visitor center at the U.S. Eisenhower Lock. This new center will welcome the tens of thousands of people from around the world who come to watch ships transit the lock each year, and serve as a cornerstone for tourism in the North Country region of New York.

“I am so honored to host Secretary Elaine Chao for the 60th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Stefanik. “We have worked together to announce this significant investment in the North Country to promote tourism, economic development, and trade. I thank Secretary Chao for her leadership and for her commitment to delivering results to our community.”

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The bi-national waterway was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II and President Eisenhower. It has been proclaimed as one of the 10 most outstanding engineering achievements of the past 100 years. Since its inception, nearly 3 billion tons of cargo, valued at over $450 billion, have been transported via the Seaway. Maritime commerce on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System supports more than 237,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs and generates $35 billion in economic activity annually.

The 2018 shipping season was the best in over a decade, with total tonnage surpassing five-, 10- and 15-year averages.

“As the Seaway marks 60 years of operations, it is important to remember its history, but also to take this opportunity to highlight the investments and innovations in the Seaway System under the leadership of Secretary Chao that keep the waterway well positioned for the future,” said Middlebrook.

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is a vital maritime gateway that moves cargo between North America and international markets. The Great Lakes Seaway System encompasses the St. Lawrence River and the five Great Lakes, and stretches more than 2,300 miles from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Lake Superior.