The Illinois Department of Transportation is inviting the public to comment on its new Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan and economic impact analysis study. The feedback will help shape strategies to strengthen a state resource that generates $36 billion in economic impact annually and supports more than 160,000 jobs.
“Our waterways system is a big reason why Illinois is the transportation hub of North America,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “This study will make sure we are taking full advantage of a critical part of the state’s economy and help IDOT deliver the governor’s Rebuild Illinois capital program.”
The Illinois waterways system includes 19 public port districts and more than 400 private terminals along the Illinois, Kaskaskia, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers as well as the Chicago area waterways system and Lake Michigan.
The Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan is intended to guide IDOT’s planning and programming efforts to integrate the system in the state’s overall multimodal transportation network. It also will help plan $150 million identified for improvements to the marine transportation system in Gov. JB Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan, $40 million of which is supporting a public-private partnership to build a new inland port at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Cairo.
Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state’s aging transportation system. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first to touchall modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
- A draft of the Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan, an informational video and a link to the comment form can be found HERE.