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Illinois Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program

The Illinois Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant program provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of facilities within public port districts that are included in the Illinois Marine Transportation System. The IMTS consists of ports located on navigable waterways such as the Mississippi River, Illinois River, Chicago Area Waterway System, Kaskaskia River, Ohio River, and Lake Michigan. Additionally, IMTS includes land-based infrastructure for transportation to, from, and on water.

In the spring of 2019, the Rebuild Illinois capital bill appropriated $150 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Illinois Port Capital Investment Grant Program, with $40 million going directly to the Alexander-Cairo Port District.

The grant application process, eligibility requirements, selection process, and the restrictions on the use of the grant money were developed by a committee of staff from IDOT, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Natural Resources and have been formalized using the Legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules process. IDOT sought input from port stakeholders and the public to develop this competitive program to prioritize grants for projects within public port districts to enhance the movement of commodities on the IMTS.

Goals of Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program

The Illinois Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant Program seeks to improve marine transportation throughout Illinois by implementing the goals of the 2020 Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan and Economic Impact Analysis. The program has been developed to be application-based, transparent, and objective by using a quantitative ranking system based on the goals of the IMTSP. The following IMTSP goals will be used to establish scoring criteria:

Improve public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries as well as property damage-only events.

Modal Connectivity
Enhance integration and connectivity across and between transportation modes for Illinois and the nation, resulting in increased multimodal options for freight movement.

State of Good Repair
Ensure Illinois proactively maintains critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair.

Economic Competitiveness
Promote transportation policies and investments that bring lasting economic benefits to Illinois, its citizens, and its businesses.

Mode Shift
Moving cargo by barge instead of truck or rail may help to reduce roadway and grade crossing damage and congestion in many communities.

Economic Opportunity
Investments should increase opportunities for economically distressed areas.

Environmental Sustainability
Advance environmentally sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation sources.


Illinois has allocated $110 million in state port capital funds for this program through the Rebuild Illinois program. Funds will be programmed in state fiscal years 2022 through 2025, based on the year in which applicants request funds.


All Illinois public port districts are eligible to apply for funding under this grant program. Public port districts have been created through state special district statutes. Recipients of grants are referred to as "sponsors." Sponsors must be legally, financially, and otherwise able to carry out state assurances and obligations contained in the project application and grant agreement, including the ability to meet and comply with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act.

2021 Grant Program

2021 Port Grant Program - Press Release

2021 Port Grant Program Project Awards

Rebuild Illinois Capital Investment Grant Program Project Awards:

IDOT received 23 applications for projects worth an estimated $281 million. Projects receiving funding for this port program include:

  • Illinois International Port District: Iroquois Landing Dock wall rehabilitation, $13 million.
  • America's Central Port District: Madison Harbor sediment reduction, $13 million.
  • Illinois International Port District: transit shed roof replacement, $8.55 million.
  • Ottawa Port District: Port District Intermodal Rail Yard, $9.8 million.
  • America's Central Port District: Granite City Harbor truck staging/calling, $5.5 million.
  • Kaskaskia Regional Port District: KRPD #1 rail loop and outbound conveyors, $10 million.
  • Mid-America Intermodal Port Authority: Alter-Municipal Dock, $13.2 million.
  • America's Central Port District: Hill Storage Track and other Granite City Harbor track improvements, awarded $2.4 million.
  • Shawneetown Regional Port District: Public-Private Partnership River Terminal, $11.2 million.
  • Waukegan Port District: reconstruct dock wall, awarded $12 million.
  • Kaskaskia Regional Port District: KRPD #2 Gateway FS expansion, $2.7 million.
  • Upper Mississippi River International Port District: land acquisition, remediation, and utilities, $7 million.

Legislation approved an earmark of $40 million to the Alexander-Cairo Port District for the Public-Private Cairo International Port Terminal Facility project.