If you know that the City of St. Louis has a Port Authority, you probably also know that it owns the Municipal River Terminal, located at the foot of N. Market Street on the north riverfront. Served by rail and convenient to four interstate highways, the Terminal has excellent access to the entire central portion of the United States. It is the anchor of the north riverfront — which itself is a primary target for redevelopment and job creation. Several redevelopment initiatives are already underway in the north riverfront. (I will be telling you about them soon.) Improvements to the Terminal will create others.
Right now, the Terminal facility lacks the useful (and competitively necessary) capacity to handle ocean-capable containers and barges. The City is working to get state and federal funding modernize and expand the facility, both to improve its bulk commodity market share and to attract and build a thriving inland container shipping facility with efficient logistics. The total cost of the work will likely be more than $50 million, although the work will probably be done in phases. The current facility has two separate dock structures, both of which are in serious need of repair and modernization—these docks can be addressed as two separate projects. A third project is the construction of a connector structure that will link the two existing dock locations.
The City is also working with other cities and counties in the region that have or could have port facilities. Because we sit in the geographic center of the country, the St. Louis region is the ideal location for investment in a number of improved port facilities capable of serving international trade. By working together, I hope we can maximize the positive impact of these port-related initiatives on the entire region and position the region as a key location for the development of businesses that rely on international transportation.
I will keep you up to date on this project.