Plans developing to bring a river shipping port to Muscatine

plans-developing-to-bring-a-river-shipping-port-to-muscatine

MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) – The city of Muscatine is one step closer to possibly becoming a major Mississippi shipping port..

Last fall the city announced the idea to import and export goods using barges on the U.S. inland waterways systems. This project not only would open Muscatine up to trade with the entire world, but it would benefit companies that import and export freight throughout the entire Quad Cities area.

City leaders now say, because of grant funding the port is close to becoming a reality.

“I just think it would make life a lot easier for a lot of people,” Lee Behnke, of Muscatine said.

Behnke is one of many who thinks a port along the Mississippi in Muscatine would be beneficial to the area.

“We’re called the ‘Pearl of the Mississippi’ and you know, I think that if this happened I think it would finally actually be the pearl, I think it would {…} shine really good light on Muscatine,” he said.

Community Development Director for Muscatine, Dave Gobin says a feasibility study began mid-September to move them closer to making that happen.

“It will analyze whether or not it makes economic sense to do a port or to build a port in Muscatine or even in the region,” Gobin said. “Second thing it’ll do is justify the investment of what it’s going to cost to build such a port.”

Muscatine Mayor Diana Broderson says this is a great opportunity for the area, but she hopes elected officials keep an open mind about what the project is going to be.

“I think it’s a win for our community, but I think it’s something that is so worthwhile, we need to take our time, we need to study it, we need to look at all perspectives and make sure that we do it well,” Broderson said.

Gobin says the port would be located just south of the Muscatine riverfront area and would benefit not just the city but the entire Quad Cities region.

“Most of the interest level has been outside of the city of Muscatine and more in the general area both on the Illinois side as well as the Iowa side, and as far as a 50 mile radius of the facility,” Gobin said.

He says the feasibility study costs just under $100,000 and was all funded through the state and a grant. The study is expected to finish by the end of the year. Then, the city will discuss findings and decide if there is a need for a port along the Mississippi River in Muscatine.

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