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Statewide and Local Marine Planning Studies

Statewide Planning Studies

State Water Plan (IDNR, December 2022)

Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (Illinois Center for Transportation, November 2022)

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This study presents several successful case studies in 15 categories of dredged material along with the statutory and regulatory requirements for the beneficial use of dredged material in Illinois.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency classification criteria for contaminated and uncontaminated dredged material are included with emphasis on Illinois requirements and characterization. Nine sites that have sandy dredged material stockpiles in Illinois are presented with suggestions for using the material. Based on this study, there is a high potential for using dredged material in Illinois for a range of projects.

Currently, it is state policy in Illinois to formally evaluate the history of possible nearby sources of chemicals that may have impacted the project sediments and to test the dredged material for chemical contamination before accepting it for use on any highway project. However, the research team suggests that if the dredged material is mainly uncontaminated sand (e.g., greater than 80% dredged material retained on sieve #200) and is from a local site that does not have a history of contamination as determined by a formal evaluation, then the material is unlikely to be contaminated and may be easier to use and requires little to no contaminant testing.

Nevertheless, this proposed rule needs more testing and examination to be verified. If IDOT and/or IEPA are interested in any changes to governing regulations, then Illinois Pollution Control Board action is required and more projects need to be studied to further investigate the suggested 80% rule as mentioned above.

This report also presents the statutory and regulatory background, agency jurisdiction, and application process for reusing dredged material in Illinois. The 15 categories of beneficial use of dredged material can be classified into three main topics. These topics are types of beneficial uses (categories 1–10), types of treatment of contaminated dredged material (categories 12, 13, and 14), and economic benefits (categories 11 and 15). The 15 categories for reuse of dredged material in other states are:

  1. Structural-Grade Fill and Highway-Embankment Fill
  2. Brownfield Reclamation
  3. Agricultural Amendment on Sandy Soils
  4. Island, Marsh, and Wetland Creation and Restoration
  5. Beach Nourishment and Shoreline Protection
  6. Landfill-Compacted Soil Bottom Liner
  7. Park and Recreational Facility Development
  8. Lightweight Aggregate Manufacturing
  9. Cement Manufacturing
  10. Brick Manufacturing
  11. Manufactured Soil
  12. Decontamination Using Auto-Shredder Byproduct
  13. Decontamination Using Geotextile Tubes
  14. Decontamination Using Cement/Bentonite Slurry
  15. Economic Benefits of Using Dredge Material

Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan and Economic Impact Analysis (IDOT, March 2021)

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The IMTS Plan is a multimodal planning and policy endeavor initiated by the Illinois Department of Transportation in March 2019. The IMTS Plan provides the state of Illinois with a foundational understanding of the marine transportation system and how it contributes to the state’s economy. This plan is only the first step in better integrating the state’s waterways into the state’s multimodal transportation network. The programmatic recommendations created as part of the IMTS Plan provide IDOT and other state agencies with important information on how to move toward integration of the marine mode as part of Illinois’ multimodal transportation network.

UIC Urban Transportation Center - An Analysis of the Illinois Maritime Transportation System (August 2017)

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The objective of this study was to produce a research report that provides IDOT with an analysis of the Illinois Maritime Transportation System to effectively plan, develop, and implement maritime into a comprehensive statewide transportation system.

Local & Regional Planning Studies

BI-State Regional Commission / Mississippi River Ports of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois — Mapping Tool and Data Collection (2021)
This project will develop an interactive asset mapping tool to highlight the critical role that the Mississippi River plays in national and international commerce. The mapping tool will include a 15-county area of terminals, operators, docks, and river-related data. These facilities will be mapped relative to the highway system, rail access, and other key data to support freight movement and multimodal connectivity. Information will be collected by survey. Survey details are provided voluntarily by river facilities interested in greater exposure.

The effort is being modeled after a similar project by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. Their Central Ohio River Information System is shown here: The CORIS map shows users the terminals, various operators, docking facilities, and other data along their Ohio River corridor. CORIS notes terminal addresses and contacts, websites, dock activity, transportation access, services, and storage.

America’s Central Port District (ACPD) – Port Infrastructure Condition & Assessment Project (December 2021)
The purpose of this study is to conduct an assessment of America’s Central Port District’s road, rail, and sewer/stormwater infrastructure to enable the port to better manage these assets and make strategic capital investments. Nearly 6 miles of sewer, 21 miles of roadway, and 14 miles of rail were surveyed and assessed. This report provides the basic methodology for prioritizing these improvements, budget line estimates for maximizing the cost-effectiveness of proposed projects, and a framework for tracking and updating records to ensure that port personnel can keep this critical facility operating well into the 21st century.

East Central Intergovernmental Association (Dubuque, Iowa) – Port Barge Expansion Planning and Feasibility Study (2020)
Memo 1 | Memo 2 | Memo 3 | Exectuive Summary
The East Central Intergovernmental Association, in partnership with the states of Illinois and Iowa, local and regional governments, and local marine terminal operators, conducted a study of the potential to expand and enhance the physical and operational capabilities of marine freight terminals in Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque in Illinois. The ECIA Port Expansion Study was designed to:

  1. Provide more multimodal transportation options for regional shippers to connect them to the international and domestic transportation system and associated worldwide markets;
  2. Serve as a catalyst for economic development in Iowa, Illinois, and the region;
  3. Evaluate potential market demand for freight to move via the Mississippi River from existing ports:
  4. Document the primary characteristics required for a successful and sustainable operation, including business logistics, transportation access, infrastructure, and other factors;
  5. Identify port expansion opportunities to capture demand, generate economic benefits, and achieve the overall goals of the study and its stakeholders;
  6. Position improvement projects for grant funding through benefit-cost analysis; and
  7. Provide input for regional and local plans by the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, ECIA, and others.

The study addressed the Gavilon Terminal in Dubuque, the Logistics Park Dubuque terminal in East Dubuque, highway and rail access systems serving these facilities, customer markets currently or potentially attracted to these facilities, inland rail hubs in Iowa and Illinois, and competing marine terminals on the Mississippi and Illinois River systems.

Kaskaskia Regional Port District – Port Master Plan (May 2020)
Report | Executive Summary
As business at Kaskaskia Regional Port District-Terminal #2 has increased, on-site traffic conflicts, periodic congestion, and operational issues have arisen. The plan considers past port activities and potential future port activities and makes recommendations for a phased capital investment program. The scope of work for the plan consists of five major elements:

  1. documentation and confirmation of existing conditions and issues;
  2. general assessment and characterization of potential markets;
  3. development of planning criteria;
  4. formulation and evaluation of viable alternatives; and
  5. presentation of the recommended plan for strategic capital development.

Illinois International Port District [Chicago] – Port Master Plan (2019)
Master Plan
This master plan takes a comprehensive look at what the IIPD is today and provides a vision for what it can be in the future, fulfilling its goals of supporting the movement of goods, facilitating economic development, and developing recreational and conservation areas. Moreover, the master plan provides actionable steps that serve as a roadmap, working alongside its community and partners, to achieve this vision.

Havana Regional Port District – Port Master Plan Study (November, 2023)
Master Plan | Appendicies
The development of a port master plan is needed for the port district to take the next step of development. The plan would utilize any existing infrastructure and build upon that investment. The site needs to be planned for the best use for future development and to handle the existing and future truck traffic inbound and outbound along with rail and barge movements. The conceptual site plan will evaluate the options that would maximize the use of the new site and provide the best value for the port.

Port of Henry – Port Master Plan (anticipated completion date: Spring 2024)
This study will complete a port master development and implementation plan for a new river terminal port complex for the city of Henry. The master plan would identify and prioritize immediate, near-term, and future projects related to the port’s development under three primary tasks:

  1. Cargo Forecast and Probable Vessel Requirements
  2. Conceptual Physical Terminal Operations Master Plan
  3. Business Development & Market Strategy

Joliet Regional Port District – Strategic Marine and Port Master Plan (anticipated completion date: Fall 2024)
This study will develop a strategic marine and port master plan for the future of the waterway, the port district, and its constituents. The project will include the development of strategic direction, an operational assessment, and a resource evaluation, which will include the identification and prioritization of projects across three time horizons: current, near term (within five years), and long term (beyond 2050).

Heart of Illinois Regional Port District – Port Master Plan (anticipated completion date: 2025)
The Heart of Illinois Regional Port District (HIRPD) needs a Master Plan Development and Implementation Strategy to define and support the region's economic development, livability, mobility, resiliency, and stewardship goals, as specified in the state Long Range Transportation Plan. To achieve these goals, the HIRPD will review existing planning documents and prepare new ones. The plan will include a strategic direction, an operational assessment, and a financial resource evaluation, which will identify and prioritize projects within the planning horizon.

America’s Central Port District – FLOAT-Ferry Landing Operations Attract Tourist (plan anticipated completion date: Summer, 2024)
This study will look at all of the transportation options available to those in the multi-state area, define why the ferry systems are in place, provide a history of ferries operating in the region, review any existing studies, coordinate with other studies or programs, review state legislation for levying tolls for users of the system, define the geography of the service area(s), and detail the road network in the area. The study will benchmark with several other ferry locations, including Cave-in-Rock Ferry between Illinois and Kentucky. Finally, the study will make recommendations to the state, private operators, and local municipalities and counties for improvements.

Integrated goals of the study include expanded ferry operations in the Grafton area, increased regional tourism, a determination of the most cost-effective transportation means to get motorists from one side of the Mississippi River to the other, determine if a statewide ferry system plan should be performed, determine if consolidation or expansion of the individual ferries makes sense, determine if state assistance in private ferry operations is warranted, consider an implementation plan and/or pulling data into the next Long Range Transportation Plan.

Massac Metropolis Port District – Port Master Plan (plan anticipated completion date: 2025)
The Massac-Metropolis Port District, created by the General Assembly in 2009, is currently moving forward with its project to create a Port Feasibility Study and Port Master Plan. Neither currently exists, and the lack of each limits the MMPD in moving forward with long-term transportation plans to serve Massac County and its surrounding communities as an economic development tool within the region. In developing a port, we need to perform a feasibility study before making any firm investment commitments. The focus of the Port Feasibility Study is on the verification of all the alternatives on which equipment, location, capacity, financing, and other decisions must be based, allowing for effective port development objectives to be achieved at a minimum cost. The second phase of the project will produce a Port Master Plan. It will examine the history of cargo movement, site and infrastructure improvements, private investments, and future needs of existing tenants near the site. The site needs to be planned for the best use for future development and to handle existing and future port improvements. It should address conflicts with current congestion and influence development to increase port capacity. Ultimately, the accomplishments needed for the project will be as a result of thorough data collection and analysis. Services retained by MMPD will include but are not limited to, engineered designed site plans produced as a result of surveying, soil studies, and road and bridge design. Permitting, flood mitigation and avoidance, and traffic flow and analysis will also be included.

Illinois International Port District – Infrastructure Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Plan (plan anticipated completion date: 2025)

The Illinois International Port District proposes to develop an Infrastructure Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Plan to identify innovative and sustainable strategies to help the Port of Chicago mitigate the effects of climate change, support local Illinois economies, and improve residents' quality of life. The plan will inventory greenhouse gas emissions, set emission reduction goals, investigate the feasibility of renewable energy generation and electrification on port property, recommend land use strategies to improve port resiliency and community development and identify a funding and implementation strategy for critical recommendations. In alignment with both the IIPD Master Plan and Illinois Long Range Transportation Plan, the plan will address the port’s current and future vulnerability to climate change impacts, expand the port’s role as a good neighbor to adjacent underserved communities, and help the port facilitate sustainable economic development in the region. The plan will be the result of an exhaustive planning process that will include guidance from a steering committee made up of public and private IIPD stakeholders, input from the IIPD Resident Advisory Committee, and thorough analysis and review from transportation, energy, and environmental experts. This will include collaboration with long-standing IIPD partners such as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the city of Chicago’s 10th Ward, Delta Institute, Nature Conservancy, Chicago Department of Transportation, and Calumet Collaborative

Archived Plans

National or Multi-State Marine Studies

Marine Transportation Data

Marine Projects:

America’s Central Port District (Granite City) – Industrial District Roadway Improvement – Phase 3. The project was awarded $2.1 million for construction to rebuild West Seventh and C streets on the port’s main industrial park in Madison. Both streets are part of a 1940s-era perimeter road on former U.S. Army Depot property. This is the third and final phase of construction. Approximately 3,200 feet of oil and chip as well as old asphalt would be removed to construct a new concrete road capable of handling the current and future truck capacity and load demands within the industrial park.

America’s Central Port District (Granite City) – Harbor Dock Improvement Project – Phase 2. The project was awarded $3.6 million for construction to rehabilitate and expand the original general cargo dock within the port. This award is for the final phase of the general cargo dock expansion project. Construction will consist of a new heavily reinforced concrete surface for the northern half of the existing dock and the new extension, a reconstructed railroad track to serve the expanded dock, and a new lighting system to provide a safe 24-hour working environment for the entire dock.

Illinois International Port District (Chicago) – Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways – Butler Drive and Stony Island Avenue Reconstruction. The project was awarded $4.8 million in additional funds totaling $15.3 million in federal funds for the reconstruction of Butler Drive from Doty Avenue to Stony Island Avenue and reconstruction of Stony Island Avenue from Butler Drive south to 130th Street. Butler Drive reconstruction will include electrical utility upgrades, and Stony Island reconstruction will include an additional inbound lane. The two roads provide sole access to the Illinois International Port District’s facilities on the south side of Lake Calumet.

Kaskaskia Regional Port District (Red Bud) – Terminal No. 2 Congestion Reduction and Safety Improvements. The project was awarded $4.3 million for reconstructing 3,000 feet of rail, adding 170 feet of additional rail, completing seven turnouts, and constructing a sheet-pile retaining wall. Recommendations from a completed port master plan stated a need for reducing congestion at the port’s terminals. Due to the current demand at terminal No. 2 and the anticipated future movement of cargo through the port, the port will require additional rail storage areas and improvements to prepare the port for an additional dock.

Mid-America Intermodal Authority Port District (Quincy) – Intermodal. The project was awarded $145,440 for Phase I Engineering to add 6,000 feet of rail and a truck transload area. Demand for rail cargo shipments has increased the need for additional rail infrastructure. The rail extension and truck transload area will aid in port operations and support increased demand for the movement of agricultural and industrial cargo.

Shawneetown Regional Port District – New Port Access Road. The project was awarded $400,000 for Phase I Engineering to construct a 1.1-mile port access and truck staging road that connects to Illinois 13. The additional port entrance will provide a safe access point for trucks to turn on and off Illinois 13. The access road will have additional staging lanes to alleviate truck staging congestion on the port, prevent trucks from backing up near the current 0.25-mile access and staging road, support truck staging that is currently diverting to the local road network for additional staging space, and prepare the port for further expansion.

Sponsor Name

Project Name


State Fiscal Year

Federal Freight Amount


Industrial Roadway Improvement - Phase III





Harbor Dock Improvements - Phase II




Cook County

Butler Drive/Stony Island Avenue Reconstruction





Congestion Reduction and Safety

Phase I Engineering




Congestion Reduction and Safety

Phase II Engineering




Congestion Reduction and Safety





Intermodal Project

Phase I Engineering




New Port Access Road

Phase I Engineering