Lake Erie Ports
In 2008, the Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center, located in the city of Toledo, was selected as a second funding round awardee and received an Ohio Job Ready Site grant in the amount of $5, 000, 000. Lucas County in collaboration with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority completed improvements to the site to meet the certification requirements of the Manufacturing category of the Ohio Job Ready Site program.
The city of Toledo is a multi-modal transportation hub with maritime, railroad, and highway activity in northwest Ohio. Toledo is the third largest rail hub in the United States, with major truck lines providing service to the entire region. The Port of Toledo recently doubled in size making it the largest U.S. seaport in land mass on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and links Toledo to global markets through the St. Lawrence Seaway. Toledo is also home to three class 1 railroad providers, three of the most traveled interstate highways, and two airports.
The 181-acre Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center Job Ready Site is located approximately three miles from Toledo’s downtown and is directly adjacent to the Maumee River. The site is part of the Port of Toledo and is comprised of a 74-acre north parcel along the Maumee River and a 107-acre south parcel located south of Front Street.
The site is accessible via Front Street and is less than two miles from Interstate 280 and less than five miles from Interstate 75. The site has direct rail service with Norfolk South and has the ability in the future to connect with CSX rail lines east of the site. Access to the Maumee River is available on the site via the upgraded dock facing. The site’s location and transportation access allows its future employers to draw a workforce from across the region.
Prior to the Job Ready Site award, redevelopment challenges to the Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center included the need to upgrade the dock face, dredge the Maumee River, and improve freight access between ships, trucks, and rail cars. Grant funding from the Ohio Job Ready Site allowed Lucas County and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to make significant improvements to the 181-acre Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center Job Ready Site, which now is optimal for manufacturing operations.
Improvements were made to over 500 feet of dock face and on-site rail lines to allow commercial and industrial development on the site. Additional work completed on the site included the dredging of the Maumee River and removal of underwater structures. A 15, 000-foot rail loop with switches was installed in the northern parcel to allow ships to dock and unload bulk freight directly into storage or onto rail cars and trucks. Nearly 20 acres is dedicated as a laydown yard to allow additional storage space within the northern parcel. The grant allowed the county to make significant improvements to the Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center, which is now optimal as a laydown yard and transfer facility in the northern parcel and for a manufacturing operation in the southern parcel with nearly 80 acres of land available for industrial operations. All utility lines are available and accessible at the site. The site is zoned for industrial use and owned by the Port Authority who has entered into a long-term agreement with Midwest Terminals of Toledo to manage the port operation. The improvements made to the site ensure businesses that Lucas County, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and the Lake Erie Port Manufacturing and Industrial Center are ready to accommodate their next industrial and manufacturing project.