The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has designated Iowa’s Mississippi River barge terminals as part of a new Port Statistical Area.
The designation, sought by Democratic U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Dave Loebsack and others, will create the name Mid-American Port for eastern Iowa and western Illinois ports. The new Corn Belt Port statistical area also will include the Illinois Waterways ports and terminals.
The action affects 50 Iowa barge terminals between Keokuk and Dubuque, and 20 barge terminals in Illinois.
“This designation from the Corps will mean an economic boost for Iowa, especially in Dubuque and Jackson counties,” Finkenauer said in a statement.
Finkenauer and Loebsack in September joined U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, and Darin LaHood, R-Illinois, to send a letter requesting expedited approval of the designations.
The statistical areas are meant to highlight the importance of the Mississippi’s barge industry. The area designated ranks in the top 100 ports in the world based on tonnage shipped, Finkenauer said.