Dubuque among barge terminals receiving federal port designation

Federal officials announced a formal designation of river ports in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today announced the creation of the designated Mississippi River Ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois includes federal recognition of 221-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Keokuk, Iowa, to Dubuque, according to a press release issued by the office of U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa.

The 15-county region would consist of 70 barge terminals in Iowa and Illinois.

The release states that approval of the Mississippi River stretch and two other Port Statistical Areas, the Mid-America Port and the Illinois Waterways Ports and Terminals, will help the ports “attract business and investment, grow the local economy and create new jobs.”

The designation also helps in securing federal dollars for environmental restoration, port expansion and improvements, and lock and dam repairs.

Finkenauer, U.S. Reps Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa and Darin LaHood, R-Illinois, recently sent a letter to the corps asking for expedited approval of a local request for port designation.