Leaders gathered in Cairo for updates on the Alexander-Cairo port project

Ill. leaders gathered at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to give an update on the Cairo Port Project.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) -Illinois state leaders gathered at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers with an update on the Alexander-Cairo port project.

It’s a project those in Alexander county and southern Illinois have been waiting on for some time.

“Everyone of us up here, democrat and republican, southern and northern Illinois residents, are all 100 percent United on fighting for this port to become a reality,” said Susana Mendoza, Illinois comptroller.

Mendoza promised Friday morning that the Alexander-Cairo port project is going to happen.

“So far I have paid out 11 vouchers totaling 1 million dollars from the department of commerce and economic opportunity. And 43 vouchers totaling nearly 1.7 million from the Illinois department of transportation for architectural and design expenses related to the project,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza says behind-the-scenes work is ongoing.

The project consultant says once the construction project begins, plenty of jobs will be created.

“Will be 675 construction jobs and spin-off jobs associated with that that’ll be over 110 million dollars in economic impact to the region,” said Todd Ely, lead consultant for the project.

Illinois state senator Dale Fowler knows how critical this port is going to be for his district.

“We have a lot of work to do. There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes and we’re just so thankful for the administration and the governor for making this a priority and everyone involved,” said Fowler.

More engineering and consulting work is still needed.

Mendoza says when capital funds hit her desk, she’ll send it to southern Illinois. And she understands the impact this will have on working families.

“It’s not just about the activity on the waterway and around it, it’s about how this is going to improve people’s lives in southern Illinois and make it a place where people want to move with their families grow some deep roots,” said Mendoza.

Leaders say the next phase of the project will begin sometime later this year.

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