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The Heartland Port Authority Board was told Thursday a study to gauge the feasibility of a port on the Missouri River in Jefferson City is about 90 percent complete.

Craig Bunger, senior civil engineer with Barr Engineering, said the firm is requesting data on topography, geography and bathymetry (the depth of the water) at the potential location.

Last year, the Legislature approved and Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation transferring 116 acres of state-owned land just east of the Ike Skelton Training Facility to the Port Authority for the potential development of a port on the Missouri River.

Bunger said he hopes to have the missing data by the end of the month so the feasibility study can be completed.

The firm also has been working on a revised project description, which he said is about 60 percent complete. That description will change as the company receives feedback on it.

The initial phase of the project will be an area from 150 feet south of Range Road to the Missouri River with a dock system capable of unloading two barges at a time, construction of a new access road off Cortez Road, and upgrading Range and Cortez roads to handle two semi tractor-trailer trucks. The remainder of the site would be for future development.

The Heartland Port Authority has a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $100,000 from the Missouri Department of Transportation that can be used for the engineering work. The MoDOT funding must be used by June 15, while the USDA money doesn't have an expiration date.

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