By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
Construction began last October on a new terminal facility that will move dry bulk commodities onto barges from railroad cars and trucks using a series of drag and belt conveyors to a closed cell dock in the South Harbor of America’s Central Port on the Mississippi River near Madison.
The South Harbor conveyor project is a design/build development with Korte & Luitjohan Contractors Inc., of Highland, as the general contractor. Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen Inc. served as the project’s civil and structural engineering design partner, and Hastings Engineering has provided environmental engineering design services. The estimated $14 million project should be done next month.
Material will be moved from the dry side of the levee more than 1,000 linear feet on conveyors to the unloading tower located on the Mississippi River.
The transfer of grain products including corn and soybeans across this system will be possible, along with dried distiller grains, which are a byproduct of the ethanol industry. The rail conveyor’s unloading capacity is up to 50,000 bushels an hour; the truck-unloading drag capacity is up to 30,000 bushels an hour.
Development included enclosing a single rail car unloading conveyor and two truck unloading pits/conveyors in a 100-foot by 115-foot by 40-foot tall pre-engineered building. Future expansion was part of the design as well, with enough space planned to add eight, 60-foot diameter grain storage bins. The option of adding two 150,000 bushel grain bins and related equipment is being considered now as well due to substantial savings experienced earlier in the construction.
Korte & Luitjohan Senior Project Manager John Whitworth said the project is significant to the region and the freight transportation industry, and his firm is proud to be part of it.
“We have put together a great team of engineers, subcontractors and suppliers throughout the Metro East and St. Louis region. I believe this is a perfect example of positive attributes that the design/build process brings, not only to the construction process but to the overall value of the project for its owner,” he said.