Port district launches second phase of $45 million harbor construction
Groundbreaking photo includes from left: Bill Paape, acting director of the Office of Gateways for the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration; Ellen McCurdy, senior policy adviser to the ILDCEO director; Kelli Gilliam, commercial relationship manager at Regions Bank; Dale Stewart, executive director of Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Construction Council; Mayor John Hamm III of Madison, America’s Central Port commissioner; Andy Economy, America’s Central Port commissioner; Frank Miles, Madison County Community Development administrator; Paul Wellhausen, vice president at SCF Lewis and Clark Marine; and Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director at America’s Central Port.
Work began on the second phase of a project that has already meant a number of construction jobs and million of dollars in investment at America’s Central Port outside Granite City.
Board and staff members on Monday morning welcomed state and local officials for the ground breaking of the second phase of the South Harbor project. Ceremonial shovels of dirt were tossed into the air by nine people considered integral to the work.
With the approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, construction on the South Harbor Terminals is officially underway. This phase will completely install the conveyor system that is responsible for loading barges to be sent on the river with commodities brought into the Port via truck and rail.
“Currently the Port District’s operators move more than 2.5 million tons of fertilizer, steel, agricultural products and petroleum annually,” said Bob Shipley, chairman of the Board of Commissioners at America’s Central Port. “The completion of this phase, and project as a whole, will enable us to transport more goods, and have an even greater impact on the region.”
The new terminals, constructed by Korte-Luitjohn and TWM Engineers, will be operated by SCF Lewis and Clark Marine, which currently serves the North Harbor as well. These additional cargo opportunities will help generate an additional 10 to 15 jobs at America’s Central Port, located in Southwestern Madison County.
“Job creation is a focal point of the Port District and Madison County, and that is one reason the two have worked so well over the years,” said Alan Dunstan, Madison County Board chairman. ” This new investment will mean construction jobs, and retained and new jobs to operate this facility. But that’s not the end; the Port’s vision is to attract new companies and development to invest in the property, utilize these assets and become good, new corporate citizens of our communities.”
Port Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer said some $45 million will have been invested in the two phases of the harbor project by the time of its completion in the summer of 2015.