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Construction of new Cairo port to bring jobs to southern Illinois

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:22 AM CDT
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) - The construction of a new inland port is expected to bring more than 500 jobs to southern Illinois.

The Alexander Cairo Port District completed a project labor agreement with the Illinois AFL-CIO, which guarantees jobs for Illinois union workers.

“The Cairo port district represents the best of Rebuild Illinois: investing in not only infrastructure, but also jobs and economic prosperity for a region left out for far too long,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to the Alexander Cairo Port District and the Illinois AFL-CIO, more than 500 Illinois workers and their families will have access to good union jobs in the next stages of the port’s construction – opportunities that couldn’t come at a better time for the people of Illinois. Our building trades are top notch, and I have every faith the team on the ground will deliver the state-of-the-art infrastructure Southern Illinois deserves.”

The new port is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

“With the inclusion of this PLA, we know that these well-paying construction jobs will go to Illinoisans, boosting our local economy and investing in the region,” said State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “I am confident that Alexander-Cairo port will be game-changing for our state, spurring additional economic development and growth. With such a big undertaking, we could not move forward with this project without the incredible local labor workforce of Southern Illinois spearheading its development.”

According to the Alexander-Cairo Port Project, 80 percent of the nation’s inland barge traffic travels past Cairo, and the site is served by three major interstate highways and class 1 rail lines.

In August 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that the Rebuild Illinois capital plan would provide $40 million in state funding for construction of the port.

The Port District is securing additional private investment, making it a public-private partnership.

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