Chicago Construction News staff writer
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has released $3.4 million to continue work on a new inland port under development in Cairo. The funding, part of a more than $40 million commitment to the Alexander Cairo Port District, will assist with federal environmental requirements and studies for the project.
“The Cairo port is one of the core pieces of Rebuild Illinois and critical to maintaining our state’s status as the transportation hub of North America,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The project will put people to work and strengthen the local economy while giving the region the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.”
The Cairo port project is one of the largest investments in Southern Illinois in decades. Almost 80% of the nation’s inland barge traffic travels past Cairo, where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers converge, with the site served by three major interstate highways and Class 1 railroads.
Previously, IDOT released $4 million to the Alexander Cairo Port District to launch preliminary engineering activities and other related work, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity released a $1 million grant for other related work.
Rebuild Illinois is the largest capital program in state history with $150 million earmarked for the state’s 19 public ports, including $40 million for Cairo and $108.3 million an additional eight projects.