About / History

The Mid-America Port Commission was established by a three-state compact in 1999. It is the only three-state port compact in the United States.

At the time the Compact was made, a study was conducted to identify possible locations in each state in which to develop the physical Port. Ward Island, which is in the study area but had not been previously evaluated, was selected for evaluation in the fall of 2005.

Ward Island is located approximately one river mile below Lock and Dam 21 at river mile 324, near the terminus of Radio Road in the South Quincy Levee District. The site was judged as ideal for the Mid-America Regional Port and attached industrial park. The Industrial Park is protected by a 500 year levee, and the site is near potential industrial customers. In late 2005 the Commission made Ward Island area the primary site for initial development.

After successful establishment of the primary site at Ward Island, other satellite sites in each member state will be established as the port flourishes.

Power, Activities, and Policy/Vision

January 3, 2000

1. Power to Operate:

“Mid-America Port Commission” Acts passed by the States of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri define the power of the Commission. The intergovernmental agreement as referred to therein enjoins the responsibility, to take actions necessary for operation of intermodal inland water transport terminals with foreign trade zone and sub-zone for the convenience of the businesses and trades to participate in international trade with cost benefits. Overall responsibility for the Mid-America Port Commission is vested in a Board of Commissioners. The legal grant of authority provides the framework for the development, operations, and maintenance of all port, terminal, and service activities that can be provided by the Mid-America Port Commission.

2. Activities in General

Activities of the Port Commission will entail:

  1. Socio-economic study for the geographic region covered by the Acts;
  2. Assessment of business potential through studies in marketing, trade pattern, regional economic growth potential, strategic location in relation to gateway ports, and shipping and shippers commitment;
  3. Identify the required infrastructure for maximizing the benefits to potential users of the facilities;
  4. Identify possible private and governmental investment and support; and
  5. Planning consistency.

3. Policy/Vision

The policy component of the Mid-America Port Commission will represent development strategies that will be compatible with legislative mandates and will be sensitive to the environment. The Mid-America Port Commission’s vision of its role is one of direct, active participation in selection of logistically appropriate sites. It will also include region-wide economic development activities to spur investment and create jobs in an environmentally responsible manner to promote economic prosperity of the people in the region.

The vision will also include facilitating strategically located multi-modal complexes, region-wide system improvement for freight movement, initiating development proposals in terminals and industrial parks, and support development activities throughout the jurisdiction of the Mid-America Port Commission.