Multi-Modal Transportation Hub Made Possible with TIGER Funding Completed
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) celebrated last week the completion of the South Harbor Project at America’s Central Port on the Mississippi River in Granite City, Illinois.
The new harbor facility will significantly increase port efficiency through the port’s global maritime gateway connecting rail, river, and road at one location.
The project was funded in part by a $14.5 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant award.
“Every community has a project like this one, that will bring economic vitality but is in need of funding,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “TIGER Grants provide us the opportunity to revitalize our transportation system, making it more efficient, opening new connections, and bettering our way of life.”
The Southwest Regional Intermodal Freight Transportation Hub links six Class I railroads and four interstate highways to a marine terminal directly on the Mississippi River. The new hub allows midwest shippers to move bulk cargo by rail or truck to the port for transport on barge to the Gulf of Mexico for export to international markets.
The multi-modal gateway, promotes exports, noted Foxx, as called for by the president’s National Export Initiative, while creating hundreds of new jobs in the area.
“Leadership and forward thinking at America’s Central Port prove that seamless integration of all modes of transportation can be a reality,” said Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen. “By working together across the state, local, federal and private sectors, we can ensure that this port community can compete in the global economy.”
America’s Central Port has a $282 million economic impact per year on Madison County, Ill., and is responsible for more than 1,450 local jobs with $9.6 million in state and local taxes paid. The 2.5 million tons of commodities moved by local port operators annually are valued at more than $1.1 billion.
To date, 40 grants totaling nearly $500 million have been awarded to U.S. ports, representing 11.7 percent of total TIGER funds awarded. There were 627 applications submitted for the most recent round of TIGER funding seeking $9.8 billion in funding—20 times more than the $500 million Congress has made available in the seventh round of the competitive grant program.