The Jefferson City Port Leaps Forward

Port Project takes a large step

Jefferson City already has so much going for itself with the title of “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town” as well as being the only Capital City with a river & historic prison within city limits. Residents are very happy to live here and businesses are thrilled to have low unemployment rates and opportunities for expansion.
© Alec Pettus
It is not only the chamber’s duty to keep existing businesses happy and provide resources for expansion but also to attract new business. Jefferson City is very accessible as we have rail transport and are close to major highways and interstates. However, at this time we are not accessible by water. The idea was first conceived in 2008 by the chamber and at the time the idea was not ripe. In 2015, several factors led to reenergizing the idea. A working group was established to move “Project Port” forward.

The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce staff has been diligently working on a lengthy application to establish the Heartland Port Authority of Central Missouri.

Representatives from the chamber staff, Board of Directors, Callaway Commissioners office and the City of Jefferson headed to the Missouri Department of Transportation in Chesterfield, Missouri for the decision. The application was formally and unanimously approved by the MoDOT Commission for the public port authority for Cole and Callaway counties.

© Danny Crocker-Jensen Photography
The project will be an industrial and commercial multimodal transportation hub, not a recreation or marina facility. The location of the facility was chosen to be away from the core downtown area and in an area suitable for industrial and commercial access.
© Danny Crocker-Jensen Photography

This is a step in the right direction.

The chamber will temporarily serve as the managing entity until the Heartland Board of Commissioners is appointed. The chamber will develop a list of private sector partners who may want to participate in the on-site operation of the port or as users of the board who wish to have a permanent on-site facility. Callaway County, Cole County and the Chamber will work with state and regional economic development agencies to develop a targeted plan to attract businesses to the port.

The addition of the port will serve Jefferson City residents and businesses mutually. It will provide a number of jobs and make Jefferson City a more relevant city for distribution. We are thankful for the support of the community and those parties that worked so hard on the lengthy and tedious application process.