(Illinois International Port District photo)
The Illinois Department of Transportation is making $110 million in grant funding available via the Rebuild Illinois capital plan to improve public ports across the state and is now seeking proposals to help modernize and revitalize the state's marine transportation system.
All 19 public port districts in Illinois are eligible to apply and applications are due June 11.
The agency said it would evaluate grant proposals on the ability to advance the plan's goals and objectives, which prioritize asset management performance-based decisions and projects that benefit disadvantaged or economically distressed areas.
"Rebuild Illinois is about investing in the long-term economic success of our state and our public ports are critical to ensuring Illinois remains an economic engine for the nation," said Gov. JB Pritzker in a statement. "This funding will allow the state's ports to further establish Illinois as a national hub for the shipping and logistics industry, while creating earning opportunities for local residents."
"Working together with our partners across the various modes of transportation leads to a stronger overall transportation system, creates jobs, improves quality of life and promotes economic opportunity," said Omer Osman, acting transportation secretary of Illinois. "These grants will serve as another smart investment in our communities."
The Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program coincides with the release of the Illinois DOT's new Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan, which determined the state's ports create $36 billion in economic activity annually and support 160,000 jobs.
Passed in 2019, the Rebuild Illinois sets aside $150 million out of its total funding pool of $33.2 billion for the state's ports, with $40 million already committed to a new inland port at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Cairo.
Today's top stories