Ports of Indiana breaks ground on “Marine Highway” grant project to increase barge shipments of steel at Jeffersonville port

Funding from U.S. DOT helps port to reduce emissions, improve highway congestion

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (March 21, 2024) – Ports of Indiana has broken ground on a project supported by a U.S. “Marine Highway” grant that will increase barge shipments of steel coils and create public benefits for the Jeffersonville community.

The $1.3 million project includes construction of a new 1.2-acre storage area and purchase of a 70,000-pound capacity forklift. Construction is scheduled for completion in mid-May.


Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville was awarded the Marine Highway grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation – Maritime Administration in 2020 to develop a barge shuttle for Nucor Corp. to move steel from Ghent, Ky., to port companies. The Jeffersonville port is home to a steel campus of metal processors that annually handle more than 2 million tons of steel shipments via rail, truck, and barge.

“This project is a ‘win-win-win’ for our customers, the community, and our port” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “We are pleased to work with Nucor, Voss Clark, Mill Steel and our many industry partners to develop a project that creates significant economic value for port companies as well as environmental and public benefits for the local community.”

The project will allow for more shipments to be transported by barge on the Ohio River, eliminating the need for 2,000 long-haul truck trips annually and more than 130,000 miles of truck driving on regional highways. Shuttle trucks will provide short haul moves inside the port, reducing the overall carbon footprint and public impacts of the shipments.

The Marine Highway program provides discretionary grants to promote marine transportation on designated marine routes that parallel major highways in order to improve environmental impacts, congestion, highway safety, and roadway construction costs related to moving freight.

“Given the high level of manufacturing and industrial production taking place in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, our Jeffersonville port is well-positioned to provide critical logistics connections for delivering raw materials or finished products,” said Port Director George Ott. “The Marine Highway program highlights the benefits of shipping by river barge and provides critical resources that allow ports to increase the positive contributions barge transportation provides for business and the environment.”

To download hi-res photos from the gallery: Photo 1 (roller) | Photo 2 (excavator/bulldozer)


About Ports of Indiana: Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system, and by serving as a statewide resource for maritime issues, international trade, and multimodal logistics.


Media Contact: Eric Powell, (317) 233-6231 or e-mail


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