An economic boost 14 years in the making is open for operation in Lake County, Tenn., this week. The Port of Cates Landing on the Mississippi River opened to river traffic late last week with a port dock, harbor channel and transload facility.
The Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority announced Tuesday a $500,000 grant from the state to build a railroad spur from the port to nearby Tiptonville.
Port Authority Board Chairman Jimmy Williamson says these development announcements are critical to the impoverished Lake County.
“Well, Lake County is the 12th poorest county in the nation. It should reduce the poverty rate by 34 percent over a time period.”
Williamson says, at its height, the port could bring upwards of two-to-three thousand new jobs to the region.
Not without difficulty, however, he says. The Authority has faced environmental challenges as well as locating riverfront between Memphis and Cairo that was situated above the Mississippi River floodplain.