Redeveloping Cairo Illinois as a Major River Port

Cairo, IL August 4, 2020 – It may well be the poorest community in all of Illinois, with scores of abandoned buildings scattered throughout the city. Since riots scarred the city in the early 1970s, Cairo, Illinois has been a prime example of a failed community.

It’s that lack of economic development that makes the announcement by Gov Pritzker and state Sen Dale Fowler (R), such remarkable news, that the state is investing $40 Million to redevelop Cairo as a major river port and distribution center in the middle of America.

The one asset Cairo has that could not be destroyed over the years is its location — sitting at the very end of Illinois where the Ohio River merges with the Mississippi River — the two largest rivers in the United States, that each carry billions of dollars of commerce in barge traffic from across a multitude of states which rely upon these rivers of commerce.

A steady parade of barge traffic on each of the rivers carries commodities to and from the Port of New Orleans, where corn, soybeans and Illinois coal are then exported out to the rest of the world.

It was Cairo’s location that made it a major hub during he Civil War, that carried supplies from its port to bring horses, soldiers, ammunition and all the supplies needed to keep Union Armies fighting under the direction of Gen Grant, as he defeated Confederate forces up and down the Mississippi delta region.

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