The Tri-City Regional Port District in Granite City, Ill., on Monday received a $6 million check to begin work on a terminal and railroad loop to expedite the movement of cargo between land carriers and the Mississippi River marine highway corridor.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the project an "on-ramp to the marine highway," during a groundbreaking ceremony. The project was one of 50 to receive money from DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants that were awarded last February.
One component of the project is the Rivers Edge terminal for transferring containers to and from rail and truck. A 9,600 foot "south loop" of track will also be constructed to serve an ethanol plant now under construction that has a planned capacity of 100 million gallons a year.
The port district is being developed on a former Army base. The site is adjacent to Lock and Dam 27, the first locks on the upper Mississippi. Developers say Midwest shippers will benefit because barges can move south on the river unimpeded.
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