Wisconsin ports and waterways help chart the course for Wisconsin’s growing economy
Governor proclaims this week as Ports Week across the state
Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed August 24 to 30 as Wisconsin Ports Week. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin (TDA) are teaming up to promote, educate and celebrate the network of ports that contribute to the state’s economy, environment and quality of life.
“Waterborne commerce is a key component of the state’s economy. Having the natural advantage of being surrounded by the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, we recognize how critical healthy ports are in a multi-modal transportation system,” noted WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “Goods worth more than $2.4 billion pass through Wisconsin’s commercial ports. The economic benefit, in terms of jobs and income, enhances the quality of life in the entire state.”
Each year, Wisconsin’s 29 commercial ports handle more than 30 million tons of cargo and provide an important transportation alternative for the movement of goods and bulk commodities. The goods passing through Wisconsin ports annually generate over $1.6 billion in economic activity, and support almost 10,000 jobs. Ports are also used as hubs for passenger transportation (ferries) and for several recreational activities.
Key products moved through Wisconsin’s ports and waterways include coal, cement, limestone, asphalt, heavy machinery, wood products, metal materials and steel, bagged and canned cargo, wind energy components, and farm and agricultural products.
Wisconsin Ports Week this year coincides with the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association Meeting, which will take place August 27-28 at the Port of Milwaukee.
“Our ports have helped shape Wisconsin’s history as a manufacturing and agriculture state,” said TDA of Wisconsin Executive Director Craig Thompson. “Wisconsin’s ports provide a competitive advantage–a way to move both bulk products and very large pieces of equipment safely and efficiently. As with any competitive advantage, we must ensure that we continue the maintenance and development of these ports through public and private port improvement projects. This investment will help ensure the ongoing vitality of Wisconsin’s ports.”