Port Projects Will be Boon to Shipping Industry

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Officials say the increased traffic at the port and surrounding region is prompted by the tranformation of roads and bridges the connect I-65 across the Ohio River. Officials say the increased traffic at the port and surrounding region is prompted by the tranformation of roads and bridges the connect I-65 across the Ohio River.

Ports of Indiana Chief Executive Officer Rich Cooper says a $10 million federal TIGER grant recently awarded to the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville will help the operation double its cargo-handling capacity. The funding will boost a $17 million project that involves an intermodal facility along the Ohio River, a new rail yard and more than a mile of additional rail line that will extend toward the 6,000-acre River Ridge Commerce Center.

It will also feature two new rail loops that port officials say will "dramatically" increase efficiency at the post. The ensuing rail infrastructure reconfiguration will help ease the transfer of cargo from barges to rail cars and trucks to rail. Cooper says "when you combine the rail improvements of this project with the ability to transload efficiently from rail and/or truck to water, it's a winning combination for all companies who utilize the port's multimodal connectivity."

In all, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $500 million through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery to more than three dozen projects nationwide.

Pence calls the Jeffersonville port a "critical economic driver" for the state and says the funding boost "will greatly enhance its ability to provide Hoosier businesses more transportation options, including more efficient access to the U.S. inland waterways system and global markets."

The region surrounding the Clark County city has undergone a major transformation in recent years, led by the $2.3 billion dollar Ohio River Bridges project and the heavy-haul transportation connector between the port and River Ridge.

Nearly 30 companies are located at the Jeffersonville port, which also handles grain, fertilizer, steel and salt, among other cargoes.

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