Ports & Terminals

Illinois’ Public Ports Invited To Apply For Grants

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have announced $110 million in grant funding available to the state’s public ports.

The Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program is part of the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, and the announcement was made April 12. 

IDOT is seeking project proposals from the state’s 19 public port districts to help improve the ports and modernize and revitalize the state’s marine transportation system. Applications are due June 11. The funding is expected to be released later this year.

Grant proposals will be evaluated on their 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

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

To apply, applicants should visit IDOT’s webpage for the program at https://idot.illinois.gov/transportation-system/transportation-management/planning/illinois-port-facilities-capital-grant-program.

“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,” Pritzker said. “Already, Illinois is a global hub for the nation’s commerce and transportation. This funding will allow the state’s ports to build on that status and further establish Illinois as a national hub for the shipping and logistics industry while creating earning opportunities for local residents.”

The Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program coincides with the release of IDOT’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.

“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,” acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “Under Gov. Pritzker, IDOT is making smarter, more strategic decisions when planning and programming projects. These grants will serve as another smart investment in our communities.” 

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state’s transportation system. It is the largest capital program in state history and the first one that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, according to the governor’s office.

The plan includes $150 million for the state’s ports, with $40 million already committed to a new inland port, the Alexander-Cairo Port District, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Cairo.