Chamber News

Chamber Q & A: You ask - we answer
Published: Monday, March 25, 2019 8:00 am

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What projects are the chamber working on?

  • The Port Project

On September 6th, the proposed Heartland Port Authority of Central Missouri was formally approved by the MoDOT Commission to create a formal public port authority for Cole and Callaway counties. 

Some type of port has been discussed for decades in our community but the idea was further developed by the chamber in 2008.  We wanted a way to take advantage of our proximity to the river and the need for multimodal transportation options for our existing businesses and potential new projects.

We will be working to 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 Port and who wish to have a permanent on-site facility.

The chamber, along with our other Economic Development partners will work with state and regional economic development agencies to develop a targeted plan to attract businesses to the port.

We will target businesses that would benefit from the shared access to facilities a port would provide.  Sharing could include services provided by shipping agents, brokers, shippers, and packing companies, as well as those related to support activities. Asset sharing would allow companies within the port district to obtain economies of scale and these economies would position the port to compete for customers, tenants, and trade.

It has been a lot of work to get us to where we are today and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.  This long-term project will require many financial resources and a lot of time!  Our goal is to have the Port operational within 5 years.

  • The Bicentennial Bridge to the Island

Private fundraising is nearly complete (with the help of a significant donation on behalf of BJ DeLong) and work has begun to design and select a contractor for the Bicentennial Bridge to Adrian’s Island.

The 830-foot bridge will stretch from the Veterans Memorial, over the railroad tracks, and onto Adrian’s Island. The proposed overpass will house four “boxcars” or visitor galleries that will be sponsored by area businesses or institutions and will slope gently down to meet the existing ground elevation in the River Park. The Island is envisioned as being a passive recreational area with trails to allow visitors to hike through the wooded area and experience the riparian environment along the banks of the Missouri River.

Adrian’s Island was provided to us as a result of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' rock dikes built in the 1960s to maintain a nine-foot

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