Great things are taking place here in Macon County, but knowing exactly how to explain and share the information can, naturally, keep us from spreading the good word. Today’s topic is something that I get asked often: “What exactly is the Midwest Inland Port?” With a major announcement released on Monday, I thought it was the perfect time to explain.
Think of it as this: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles… and a Ramp! The “port” is made up of assets we already have that will help a business move their products further and faster. We’re marketing all of these assets in one effort under the Midwest Inland Port. The port is comprised of:
Planes: We have an airport that can accommodate cargo planes. Decatur Airport has the largest runway in the state outside of Chicago O’Hare.
Trains: We’re served by three Class 1 railroads (CN, CSX, and NS). These connect to all North American rail networks, and all three converge right here in Decatur. That’s a huge advantage! Illinois is also the only state in which all seven Class 1 railroads operate.
Automobiles: We have easy connectivity to 5 major roadways, Interstates 72, 55, 74, 57 and U.S. Highway 51. All uncongested and easily accessible.
Intermodal Ramp: The linchpin to the entire port is the 250 acre facility that can pick up a container full of goods from a train and move it directly onto a truck bed for distribution (and vice-versa) in a matter of seconds! Also, businesses can ship and import their materials via rail internationally from right here in Decatur. All three of the Class 1 railroads mentioned above have access to the ramp.
Combine all of this with our spectacular downstate location and, BAM!, the Midwest Inland Port is born. The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County will actively market this to companies that can benefit from usage of one, some, or all of the port’s assets. Having investors like ADM, CN, Clayco, and OmniTRAX on the port’s strategic development coalition will bring national interest to developing in Macon County and ultimately create more jobs for the area.
I hope this helps clarify, in layman’s terms, what the Midwest Inland Port is. Please don’t hesitate to share your newfound knowledge with friends and colleagues when the opportunity presents itself. For a great video about the efforts that connects the dots, visit the Midwest Inland Port website.
Get excited… something BIG is happening here!
Contributed by Nicole Bateman, Community Marketing Manager with the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur – Macon County