Michigan’s gateway port to Lake Erie and St. Lawrence Seaway will undergo a broad range of major improvements and alterations expected to transform the city of Monroe’s harbor into a leading cargo transportation center on the Great Lakes. The Michigan Strategic Fund approved up to $3 million in repayable funds from the MSF Investment Fund for the city of Monroe to make improvements to the Port of Monroe.
“These improvements will transform the Port of Monroe into a center of economic activity and a premier general cargo handling facility on the Great Lakes,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “The project will promote further growth and investment in the Port and the region, and will lead to new jobs for Michigan residents.”
The project expands trade routes and cargo opportunities, and calls for dredging the River Raisin and a range of other improvements to increase accessibility to the port. The impact is expected to cause fewer cargo delays, and accommodate larger vessels with increased shipping capacity. The dramatic improvements in shipping efficiency is expected to generate a major economic impact to the Monroe region.
In addition to the MSF funds, the City of Monroe Brownfield Redevelopment Authority submitted an Act 381 Brownfield Work Plan for the approval of $3,643,225 in local and school tax capture for brownfield activities related to the project. The tax income revenue captured as a result of the approved work plan will be used to repay the Investment Fund within approximately eight years.
“The Port of Monroe’s recent cargo growth is proof positive that Michigan’s ports play a vital role in the State’s economic viability,” said Port of Monroe Director Paul C. LaMarre III.
“This project will provide for foundational infrastructure that will ensure the Port of Monroe’s continued growth and sustainability for years to come,” he said. “The Port and community are humbly appreciative for the support of Governor Snyder and his team, Steve Arwood and the MEDC, as well as the Michigan Strategic Fund Board itself.”
Located in Monroe on the western edge of Lake Erie, the port provides direct access to all five of the Great Lakes and serves 17 states. The improvements will not only promote new cargo opportunities, but will serve to ship and receive materials for the port’s existing tenants, including DTE Energy, Michigan Paving & Materials, Gerdau MACSTEEL, Ford Motor Company, and Ventower.