Frye: Governor’s infrastructure plan provides critical funding for fourth port
Indianapolis, In. — Southeast Indiana has significant economic potential. With our proximity to the Ohio River, many interstates and major cities, our community is able to quickly connect to all of Indiana, neighboring states and the country. To capitalize on our location, I worked with other state and local leaders to develop a plan to locate a fourth port in our part of the state. Recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new program that will invest $1 billion in Indiana’s infrastructure, including a fourth port in Southeast Indiana. The governor’s Next Level Connections program wisely highlights the need for Indiana to complete the evaluation of developing a fourth port in Lawrenceburg.Currently, Port of Indiana operates three river ports, including one on Lake Michigan in Burns Harbor, and two on the Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon. The Ohio River ports generate $2 billion in revenue annually and support 15,000 jobs. Adding a fourth port would be a boon for both our local and state economies.Not only would a fourth port be a place where barges come to load and unload cargo, but it would also be an industrial complex attracting additional businesses, commerce and industry to our area. Typically, steel mills, ethanol plants, grain shipping, automotive plants and other industrial businesses locate near ports, bringing high-paying jobs with them. In addition, port development also has the potential to drive infrastructure improvements. With access to railways and Interstate 275 along with a location close to the Great Cincinnati metropolitan area, a fourth port would be a transportation hub for the tri-state area.Along with providing vital funding to move the fourth port project forward, the governor’s Next Level Connections program also outlines plans to invest in several other aspects of Indiana’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges. As the Crossroads of America, Indiana’s roadways are the lifeblood of our economy. Through these investments, the plan will fast track several major road projects to help motorists arrive faster and safely to their destinations.Developing and building the fourth port of Indiana will not be an overnight project. These projects require years of careful planning, investment and construction. I appreciate the governor’s continued leadership and support on this crucial project. If you would like any additional information on the fourth port of Indiana or the governor’s plan, you can reach me at [email protected] or 317-234-9450.