Scott County Considers Port Designation

Sep 17, 2019

The Quad Cities may take a different approach to promoting transportation and trade on the Mississippi River.

This morning at the Scott County Board of Supervisors meeting, retired Army Colonel Robert Sinkler gave a presentation on the proposed Ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, and the benefits of a federal designation. 

Credit Scott County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Ken Croken hopes the Scott County Board and other local governments will support the idea.

"I think  a lot of people might be surprised to know that the traffic on the Iowa side of the river alone would rank us just above Wilmington, Delaware as a mecca for water transportation." said Croken.

Croken says the benefits of federal port designation could improve relationships between farmers, manufacturers, navigation companies, and others who use the river. 

Right now, all the ports from Dubuque County downstream to Lee County, Iowa are independent. But the designation would help them work together on marketing and operations.

Croken says the goal is to have a federal designation for the ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois in two and a half years.

Other rivers with federally designated ports include the Ohio River near Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Mid-American Ports, which includes parts of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.