Ports of Indiana Study Quantifies Costs of Lock Closure

September 14, 2010

Finds $1.9 billion in economic activity and 17,655 jobs related to lock activity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, UnLock Our Jobs and the Ports of Indiana co-hosted a conference call to discuss a new report commissioned by the Ports of Indiana, and conducted by the economic consulting firm of Martin Associates, outlining the potentially devastating impact closure of the Chicago area lock system or permanent separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin will inflict on the State of Indiana’s economy and job recovery efforts. The study quantifies the substantial economic contributions the Chicago locks provide to Indiana businesses and citizens.

“Indiana’s three-port system serves the world’s most productive industrial and agricultural region and relies on a combination of strategic location, specialized facilities and – most importantly – intermodal connections such as the Chicago locks to do so,” said Jody Peacock, director of corporate affairs for the Ports of Indiana. “The port and maritime activity on the Indiana lakeshore are responsible for 104,567 total jobs, $14.2 billion of economic activity and $567 million of state and local tax revenue. The Chicago locks are an essential piece of this infrastructure, and are vital to the overall economic health of Indiana’s lakeshore economy. Not to mention, the locks directly contribute to $1.9 billion in economic activity to the regional economy and 17,655 jobs themselves.

Mark Biel, chairman of UnLock Our Jobs continued, “These stunning numbers demonstrate the importance of the Chicago area waterway system, not just to Illinois but to the entire Midwest economy. Previous studies examining the impacts of the locks conservatively estimated that closure could cost the region $4.7 billion over 20 years. It’s clear now that the rippling economic impacts of idling this essential transportation hub would be many times greater.

“Elected officials in the Midwest must work together to achieve a comprehensive, multi-tiered solution that will protect the Great Lakes from the invasion of Asian carp. That solution, however, does not need to come at the expense of vital commercial activity. This new study underscores how imperative it is that the newly appointed Carp Czar fully understands the devastating economic impacts lock closure or hydrological separation would have on the US economy.”

For additional information or to learn more view the UnLock Our Jobs backgrounder on the study online, or view the Ports of Indiana’s full study, here.

To speak with any UnLock Our Jobs experts, please contact Lisa Burgess at lisa@unlockourjobs.org or (202) 257-0983.

UnLock Our Jobs is a coalition dedicated to protecting the essential waterway connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River corridor. A project of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, coalition members represent agriculture, business, labor, river communities, and concerned citizens working towards a comprehensive solution to stop the spread of Asian carp, while leaving the Chicago locks open to commerce.

SOURCE UnLock Our Jobs

Source: newswire

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