State of State Surprise: Pence Wants Another Port

The address was Pence's fourth and final of his inaugural term. The address was Pence's fourth and final of his inaugural term.

To connect to the story titled "Pence Addresses Civil Rights in State of the State," click here.

INDIANAPOLIS - Governor Mike Pence's fourth State of the State address went pretty much as expected, with one exception. His is calling for the Ports of Indiana to "vigorously explore" building a fourth port along the Ohio River in southeast Indiana. Saying "infrastructure is about more than roads," Pence suggested a new port could "unleash enormous economic investment throughout the southeast region of our state."

The call for a new port comes as the southeast region enjoys potential new-found prosperity, with the completion of the $2.5 billion Ohio River Bridges Project and continued development of the massive River Ridge Commerce Center.

The Ports of Indiana, which includes Burns Harbor, Mount Vernon and Jeffersonville, has generated record business in recent years. In 2014, the state's port system handled more than 10.4 million tons of cargo, the first time in the authority’s 53-year history that shipments exceeded 10 million tons.

The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville shipped 2.4 million tons in 2014, an increase of nearly 50 percent from the previous year.

It has also seen substantial growth of its "steel campus" with five companies announcing plans for more than $50 million in new investment in 2014. 

Michigan-based Mill Steel Co. opened a new flat-rolled steel service center at the port as part of its purchase and immediate expansion of an existing 105,000 square foot facility. The expansion more than doubled the size of the facility.

You can connect to video and a script of Pence's address by clicking here.

This story will be updated.

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