Ports & Terminals

Intermodal Port In Herculaneum, Mo., Attracting Developers And Site Selectors

The St. Louis Regional Freightway calls a 300-acre port district zoned property in Herculaneum, Mo., a unique opportunity for intermodal development, citing the location’s more than 2 miles of river frontage, 200-acre buffer, 30,000 linear feet of Class I rail and access to Interstate 55.

The site recently received port district zoning, making way for redevelopment as an intermodal transportation hub and industrial park. Located on the Mississippi River, the site has been utilized as a port since the 1700s. With its easy access for barge loading and offloading and the site’s proximity to early lead mines in adjacent Washington County, under early French ownership the port was used to ship lead cannonballs and shot to Europe to support Napolean’s army. 

Today, the port ships frac sand, grain and other bulk commodities. “Few inland port sites available for new development have the infrastructure and ease of access to both rail and highway of this site,” said Mary Lamie, executive vice president of multimodal enterprises for Bi-State Development and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway. “The site’s 30,000 linear feet of Class I rail operated by Union Pacific Railroad, along with the less than 2-mile distance to Interstate 55 make it ideal for movement of goods nationally and internationally. It is a great addition to the existing pipeline of 16 available rail-served sites in the two-state area.”

The Doe Run Company owns the property and is slated to complete remediation of a former lead smelter site located on the property in 2024. The site includes existing industrial services for water, gas and electric. Doe Run is committed to ensuring the long-term success and growth of this site, making it a valuable partner with local and regional economic development agencies for future development opportunities.

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Jefferson County Port Authority and Jefferson County officials have developed a master plan for the site, with a goal of creating additional port facilities and riverfront development that allow industrial users to leverage the site’s premier multimodal access along the Mississippi River and easy accessibility to Interstate 55.

The area has been designated as a new port district with Jefferson County working to enhance the regional import and export of goods in the coming years. Port district zoning, tailored to align with the industrial history and future potential of the site, allows for primary uses conducive to port operations and serves as a facilitator for fostering future development partnerships with the Jefferson County Port Authority.

The port district designation also allows for the use of incentives under Chapter 68 of the revised statutes of the State of Missouri — most notably issuing bonds, implementing real estate tax abatement and sales/use tax exemption on building materials and the authority to levy sales taxes or special property tax assessments to reimburse project costs related to infrastructure and other eligible expenses within the port district.

“Dating back more than 200 years, the Herculaneum port site has long been an economic driver in Jefferson County and throughout the region,” said Jim McNichols, executive director of the Jefferson County Port Authority. “With the opportunity to add capacity for local transportation demands and create new jobs and investments, the future of this port looks as strong as its past.”