Corn Belt Ports Update: Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Corn Belt Ports Update After the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Much of today's unprecedented investments in Illinois ports and waterways in Illinois is going to over 25 riverfront counties in rural areas. In 2020 and 2021, three Top 50 Leading U.S. Ports were federally recognized in the Heart of The Corn Belt [the Tri-State (IL, MO, IA) area above Locks and Dam 26]. In 2022, the ports inside the lock and dam system saw increased investment from the state and federal governments, and from non-profit organizations. This included a historic $1.24 billion for improvements to our locks and dams and waterways in the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway System.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill investments also enabled construction to begin the $3.9 Billion Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), for which supporters had been patiently waiting for 15 years to get a construction start. Increased annual funding opportunities for the Corn Belt Ports now exist.

Annual investments in the Corn Belt Ports region are anticipated to increase up to $250M per year over the next 15 years. Increases in freight tonnage is also projected in the coming years for all three Corn Belt Ports, as the demand for moving more freight by water increases to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, or for more information, contact Nancy Ouedraogo at esarey@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs. 

Presenters from Corn Belt Port Executive Coordinating Team:

  • Robert Sinkler, Tri-State Corn Belt Ports Executive Coordinating Director
  • Chris Smith, Corn Belt Ports Director of Operations
  • Dr. Anshu Singh, Chief of Environmental Services