The four public ports in the St. Louis region are making an infrastructure investments of more than $20 million to attract site selectors looking for property with access to the inland waterways, class 1 railroads and four interstate highways
Here’s a look at the specific investments being made within each of the individual ports:
Jefferson County Port Authority (Missouri) – The historic Delta Queen steamboat is expected to make its inaugural cruise from Kimmswick, Mo., in 2020, and in preparation, the Jefferson County Port Authority (JCPA) is proceeding with design and construction of a riverboat bank landing in Kimmswick. The landing is being designed to accommodate any river cruise boat, including passenger excursion vessels as large as the American Queen. The budgeted amount specifically for the Kimmswick bank landing is $ 1.2 million, made possible by a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Waterways grant, and a 20 percent matching grant from Jefferson County. Construction is anticipated to begin late this fall.
The Jefferson County Port also is the proposed site for a terminal to support innovative Container on Vessel Service to the Midwest; but those plans, which would require public-private investment, are still in the early stages.
Port of St. Louis (Missouri) – The Port of St. Louis Municipal River Terminal is finishing up a $1.5 million project that is Phase 1 of a rail upgrade to replace a rail spur linking to the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) and all Class I Railroads. They are now in design for the $2.2 million Phase 2 of the rail upgrade using FY2020 grant funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation, with completion expected in June 2020.
America’s Central Port (Granite City, Ill.) – In December 2018, through a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), America’s Central Port (ACP) completed construction of a new, $1 million project to add a 1,500-foot rail spur to serve a prime 60-acre development-ready lot on port property. That project has already generated a 10-acre lease for transloading, with the potential for construction of a new manufacturing and distribution building. ACP also has received multiple grants for four additional projects, one of which started this summer. Among those are surface improvements at the Granite City Harbor Dock, which is estimated at almost $1.37 million and is funded through a freight grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The project will make the last mile transloading process more efficient at this particular harbor. This project has already spurred about $2.5 million in private investment for related infrastructure and equipment upgrades. EDA grant funding also is supporting renovations to two buildings on the Port’s property to convert both for use as manufacturing space. The fourth project, funded by IDOT and scheduled to begin in summer 2020, is a new $2 million right-in/right-out highway entrance to the port for trucks entering and leaving the property.
Kaskaskia Regional Port District (Monroe, Randolph and a portion of St. Clair County in southern Ill.) – Several projects of note are underway at the various facilities in the Kaskaskia Regional Port District (KRPD). The Port has submitted a BUILD grant for $9.5 million to expand terminal at KRPD #1. This capital improvement will consist of a second loop track, a dump pit, two outbound conveyors, siding and other track upgrades. The expansion will allow the port to ship fly ash and gypsum outbound. A Delta Regional Authority Grant for $140,000 has been awarded to replace the Port District Railroad crossing on IL Rt. 154 at its KRPD #2 terminal. The port just finished installing a new bridge on its rail line to replace a large culvert that was close to failing. KRPD also has entered into an agreement with IDOT to develop a Master Plan for KRPD #2, where tenant Kaskaskia Shipyard just completed building its third towboat as it grows its operations. This master plan is designed to reduce congestion at the port and calls for a third dock to be built on eight additional acres the port purchased two years ago.