Transportation Secretary Buttigieg kicks off project at Massena’s Eisenhower Lock

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:42 PM EDT
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MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - Thursday marked a new era for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Lock in Massena as U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg kicked off an $8.4 million project to renovate the visitor’s center there.

“This new visitor center is going to reinvigorate the local economy, create good paying jobs that trap people in the region that can make very important improvements to accessibility. Also, just as significantly, I think it’s going to tell a story that needs to be told about this unique element of our continent’s transportation history,” said Buttigieg.

For 62 years, the Eisenhower Lock has been the only gateway for international shipping to go in and out of the Great Lakes.

Unlike the old visitor center, the new center will be open year-round as a museum with three levels. What won’t change are the views of the locks it’ll provide.

Gouverneur’s Con Tech Building Systems will help with the project.

“This new welcome center and really the museum that it is will really provide that informational aspect of how the seaway was constructed, what it does, how goods get in and out of the center of the country and then what the economic impact is for our local communities,” said

Tim Reddick, Con Tech Building project manager.

While the new project will focus on the visitor’s center, we asked Secretary Buttigieg about expanding the locks themselves, allowing for the larger ships of today to navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Buttigieg didn’t have a firm answer but said the U.S. is always looking at opportunities to improve transportation across the country.