Since 1985, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville has played an important role in handling millions of tons of steel, grain, fertilizer, salt and other bulk cargoes for both inbound and outbound markets – domestic and abroad.
Located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky., the port's central location connects the Midwest to the world with the Inland Waterways System, providing year-round access to the Great Lakes as well as ocean vessels in the Gulf of Mexico that
can be transloaded with barges coming from or going to Jeffersonville. Trade through the port supports tens of thousands of jobs for Hoosiers and Kentuckians employed by the companies and farms that utilize the port every day, generating nearly $1.5 billion in economic value every year.
While the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville provides a number of competitive advantages to the Louisville region that includes southeast Indiana and north-central Kentucky, we know continued investments in infrastructure are crucial for ports to meet the predicted growth in freight, alleviate surface transportation congestion, and provide alternatives for shippers. It's good to see that DOT knows that, too.
Last month, Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen visited the port to announce the award of a $10 million DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery —or “TIGER”— grant. With these funds, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville will expand our multimodal cargo-handling facilities and rail capacity, a major step forward in increasing maritime commerce through domestic barge service. These new additions will not only increase receiving and delivery efficiencies, but they’ll provide the opportunity for sustained growth for businesses utilizing the port, enhancing improvements all along the Ohio River region’s supply chain.
This project will be a significant economic driver for the port and the region.
Thankfully, local and state leadership are on the same page as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Maritime Administrator Jaenichen. They all understand the role of infrastructure investment in growing the regional economy and creating the jobs that come with it.
The improvements at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville are just the latest investments that are transforming our region. The $2.3 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio
River Bridges project, which includes two new interstate bridges spanning the Ohio River, is one of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects. In addition, construction of a transportation corridor that will connect the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville to a 6,000-acre commerce center by both road and rail will significantly improve access to the port’s multimodal facilities.
Through these extraordinary infrastructure investments, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, Southern Indiana, and the Greater Louisville region are all uniquely positioned for unparalleled transportation efficiencies and sustained, long-term business development and employment.
Our community is grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation and our local and state leaders who understand this unchallengeable reality: infrastructure investment literally paves the way to a stronger economy.
About the author
Scott Stewart is Port Director of the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville.
[Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Fast Lane Blog]