Linking River, Rails and Roads at America’s Central Port
Modern infrastructure is a vital component of a thriving economy. However, re-building America’s highways, railroads and ports work more effectively when they are integrated with each other. A brand new interstate, for example, moves freight more efficiently when it connects to a port or rail facility.
That’s why it’s exciting to see what can happen when transportation planners get it right, like the new Southwest Regional Intermodal Freight Transportation Hub at America’s Central Port in Granite City, Illinois. This new facility will link six rail lines and four interstate highways to the M-55 and M-70 marine highways to capture and transport cargo from Chicago and other northern regions to the Gulf of Mexico and international markets.
Funded in part by a $14.5 million TIGER grant, this seamless connection of river, rail and road is a win-win for regional businesses and a model for the rest of the country. When completed, the hub will reduce shippers' costs, promote economic growth, and provide agricultural producers and manufacturers in America’s heartland better access to global markets. That means improved economic competitiveness for hardworking Americans.
Infrastructure investment has always been one of President Obama’s top priorities, and a major component of his proposal to support middle class jobs. Projects like America’s Central Port’s Intermodal Freight Transportation Hub create a foundation for a 21st Century economy that expands opportunities for all Americans.
As the President knows, modern economic growth relies on modern infrastructure.
Chip Jaenichen is Acting Administrator of the Maritime Administration.