Many businesses benefit from the efficient and reliable movement of goods through the system. These include manufacturing, agriculture, energy utilities and mining establishments as well as their customers and supply chain business partners and the workers in these industries.

In addition, there are other businesses and workers who depend on the waterway for other reasons beyond the flood control and navigation uses. Those include water sources from the system that are used for power plant cooling, municipal water systems, wildlife habitat preservation and recreation.



The Waterway faces a serious loss of traffic and diversion to less-efficient and more expensive transportation alternatives if measures are not taken to improve the system soon.

A recent economic impact study conducted by the Economic Development Research Group on behalf of the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, GROWMARK and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that new investments in the Waterway benefit a broad range of Illinois industries and workers, including:

  • Increased state output from $27 million to $67 million annually
  • An initial increase in jobs of 106 to 270
  • Improvements to adjoining state economies due to increased output and jobs