Herculaneum Port Site Cleared for Redevelopment as Intermodal Hub

February 26, 2024

(Photo: St. Louis Regional Freightway)
(Photo: St. Louis Regional Freightway)

A 300-acre property along the Mississippi River in Herculaneum, Missouri recently received Port District zoning making way for redevelopment as an intermodal transportation hub and industrial park.

Located on the shipping lanes of the Mississippi River, the site has been utilized since the 1700s as a port. With its easy access for barge loading and offloading and the site’s proximity to early lead mines in adjacent Washington County, under early French ownership the port was utilized to ship lead cannonballs and shot to Europe to support Napolean’s army. Today, the port ships frac sand, grain, and other bulk commodities.

According to the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the location’s more than two miles of river frontage, 200-acre buffer, 30,000 linear feet of Class I rail and access to Interstate 55 offer unique and unprecedented opportunity for intermodal development.

“Few inland port sites available for new development have the infrastructure and ease of access to both rail and highway of this site,” said Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multimodal Enterprises for Bi-State Development, and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway. “The site’s 30,000 linear feet of Class I rail operated by Union Pacific Railroad, along with the less than 2-mile distance to Interstate 55 make it ideal for movement of goods nationally and internationally. It is a great addition to the existing pipeline of 16 available rail-served sites in the two-state area.”

The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) owns the property and is slated to complete remediation of a former smelter site located on the property in 2024. The site includes existing industrial services for water, gas and electric.

The Jefferson County Port Authority and Jefferson County officials developed a master plan for the site, with a goal of creating additional port facilities and riverfront development that allows industrial users to leverage the site’s multimodal access. The area has been designated as a new Port District with Jefferson County working to enhance the regional import and export of goods in the coming years. Port District zoning allows for primary uses conducive to port operations. Moreover, Port District zoning serves as a facilitator for fostering future development partnerships with the Jefferson County Port Authority. The designation as a Port District also allows for the utilization of Port District incentives under Chapter 68 of the revised statutes of the State of Missouri, most notably issuing bonds, implementing real estate tax abatement and sales/use tax exemption on building materials, and the authority to levy sales taxes or special property tax assessments to reimburse project costs related to infrastructure and other eligible expenses within the port district. 

“Dating back over 200 years, the Herculaneum Port Site has long been an economic driver in Jefferson County and throughout the region,” said Jim McNichols, executive director of the Jefferson County Port Authority. “With the opportunity to add capacity for local transportation demands and create new jobs and investments, the future of this port looks as strong as its past.”

“Having another strong waterfront asset like the Herculaneum Port Site opens the St. Louis area market up to even more opportunities to attract new and exciting business and industry to our growing economy,” Lamie said. “In the eyes of new business and industry, our region’s attractiveness is only as good as the real estate product that we can offer, and the St. Louis Regional Freightway’s focus on identifying and promoting available sites is continuing to open new doors for our region’s economic development and growth.”

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