Durbin Visits Kaskaskia Regional Port District, Highlights Coming Improvements Made Possible by Federal Funding

Durbin and Duckworth secured $8 million in federal funding for Kaskaskia Regional Port District’s planned improvement projects

NEW ATHENS – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited the Kaskaskia Regional Port District (KRPD) to highlight the upcoming upgrades planned for KRPD, which were made possible by the $8 million federal grant Durbin and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured for the project through the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The grant will improve safety, efficiency, and reliability of the rail corridor that connects Lenzburg to KRPD.  It will also fund the installation of a railyard adjacent to the terminal and corridor upgrades to improve track operating conditions, reduce derailments, and increase the overall efficiency of moving products to the terminal.     

“Our country relies on ports and rail lines to keep our economy moving.  Kaskaskiafulfills that important role for downstate Illinois,” said Durbin.  “It’s vital that we support these critical ports, which is why Senator Duckworth and I fought hard to secure $8 million in DOT funding to assist the upgrades coming to Kaskaskia Regional Port District.  I look forward to seeing Kaskaskia transform, becoming even more efficient and reliable.”  

The grant funds the second phase of rail-related upgrades for KPRD, which will install a railyard near its terminal and upgrade 5.6 miles of rail track.  These upgrades will allow for the more efficient shipping of gypsum and fly ash while bolstering the construction supply chain in Illinois and creating about 35 full-time jobs. 

Photos of the press conference are available here.