As part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, the Riverbend Region is a major national and global transportation center located within 500 miles of 33% of our nation's population and businesses.
Introducing St. Louis Gateway(TM) - A multimodal mecca poised for growth
The Riverbend area is in IDOT's Region 5, District 8. See what Riverbend area projects are in IDOT's multi-year (FY2017-2022) transportation program summary by clicking here.
- Illinois 255 is now complete, connecting Interstate 270 to U.S. 67 in Godfrey. The second phase, from Illinois Route 143 to Fosterburg Road, opened in 2006. Another extension to Seminary Road opened in 2008 with the final leg to U.S. 67 in Godfrey opening in spring 2013.
- With the completion of improvements on U.S. 67 to a four-lane highway, the Riverbend will become the stepping-off point for business expansion into western Illinois from St. Louis. U.S. 67 upgrades will provide access to Interstates 72, 74, and 280, the Quad Cities, IA-IL, and St. Paul, MN.
- This network of quality highways and interstates provides over-the-road drivers with the ability to reach the following cities in less than 8 hours:
Chicago, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Louisville, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Wichita
- Enhancing access to the region from these interstate highways are state highways 3, 111, 140, and 143. Crossing the Mississippi River at Alton, the Clark Bridge carries U.S. Highway 67 into St. Louis and St. Louis Lambert International Airport. In all, we have received recognition from the Illinois Department of Transportation that our road system is in the best condition in the entire state of Illinois.
- The Riverbend region is well connected to major markets across the United States and is the crossroads of six interstate highways: I-44, I-55, I-64, I-70, I-255, and I-270.
- The St. Louis Metropolitan area is the second largest trucking center in the country with more than 300 common carriers and 50 contract carriers, and has the lowest aggregate miles between major points of destination on the continental United States.
- St. Louis Regional Airport, located in the Riverbend Region, is a general aviation reliever airport averaging over 80,000 operations a year. The primary runway (11/29) is 8100 feet long by 150 feet wide. The load limits of runway 11/29 are 200,000 pounds dual tandem, 140,000 pounds dual, and 80,000 pounds single. The cross-wind runway (17/35) is 6500 feet long by 100 feet wide. The load limits of runway 17/35 are 47,000 pounds dual, and 35,000 pounds single. Approaches to St. Louis Regional Airport include the ILS, NDB, and DME to Runway 29, the LOC/BC to runway 11, and the NDB to Runway 17. Twenty-four hour ATIS is available. Charter service, storage for private aircraft and freight movement are all available. United Parcel Service (UPS) operates a facility from our local airport. The airport's website is www.stlouisregional.com.
- MidAmerica Airport is located beside the United States' Scott Air Force Base in O'Fallon, Illinois. This facility primarily handles Lambert's freight business and is an overflow conduit for Lambert International. The airport's website is www.flymidamerica.com.
- Less than twenty minutes from the Riverbend is world renowned St. Louis Lambert International Airport, the nation's ninth largest hub and ninth largest airport in the world. St. Louis Lambert Airport is served by 10 airlines: Air Canada, Air Choice One, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines (hub operation), Cape Air, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Southwest, United, and XTRAirways. The airport's website is www.flystl.com.
- The region is served by 13 trunk line railroads operating 28 lines routed from the St. Louis area to all rail-served markets. These railroads and Class One system account for 68 percent of all Class One Railroad Lines. Amtrak stations in Alton, IL, and downtown St. Louis provide access to the east and west coasts, Chicago and the Gulf of Mexico.
- St. Louis' rail center ranks second in number of jobs and third in number of rail lines. This rail center links the Riverbend region to all points in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. This center provides area businesses with rail transportation to Midwestern, national and international markets.
- Locks and Dam #26 (Alton) and #27 (Granite City) are both in the St. Louis District. Mel Price Locks & Dam #26 expanded in 1994 with an additional lock.
- The region is served by the Wood River and Chouteau, Nameoki and Venice Drainage Districts. These districts maintain a system of ditches and canals for interior drainage and operate pumping stations on the canal.
- The entire region is protected against flooding from the Mississippi River by an extensive network of levees built to the industrial standards of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. These levees are designated to contain a discharge on the Mississippi River in excess of 1,300,000 cubic feet per second of flood water, or the equivalent to the flow of which occurred on June 28, 1844 - the second highest flow on record and equal to a 200-year flood. In addition, the Great Flood of 1993, which was our most severe flood, never compromised our levee system and it is estimated this flow was equivalent to a 500-year flood.
- Domestic and foreign markets are readily accessible via the U.S. Inland Waterways System. Shipments can be barged up the Illinois River to Chicago and then via the St. Lawrence Seaway to the industrial centers of Canada or northern Europe. Shipments can be barged down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, and from there to the markets of Mexico, Asia, Europe, South America, Central America, and Africa. Shipments can also be barged up the Missouri River for delivery to the West and to the Ohio River for delivery to the East.
- St. Louis is one of the second-largest inland river ports in the nation. America's Central Port, the Alton Barge Terminal, the Phoenix Landing and the Illinois Power Transfer Station offer a wide array of facilities and equipment to the immediate vicinity. They can accomplish the transfer of all types of general cargo, plus dry and liquid bulk, between river barges, storage facilities, and train and truck transportation. The Port District is the designated Foreign Trade Zone (#31), and as such can set up special incentives, duty-free storage/assembly, ongoing deferred duty and subzones in the Riverbend. Our ports and transfer facilities operate year-round for all shippers on this inland waterway system.
- One of the world's first and continuing great avenues of commerce serving the Riverbend is the Mississippi River. In addition, the Missouri River and the Illinois River's confluence helps form the "bend" to the Mississippi River and each are effective conduits for bulk transportation.
- A public transportation system not rivaled by many other metropolitan areas exists in the Riverbend and St. Louis. In the Riverbend, Madison County Transit (www.mct.org) is the main bus service. Metro operates a multi-modal system which includes MetroBus and MetroLink light rail. Metro systems provide access between Illinois and Missouri. Greyhound is available for interstate travel in addition to the Amtrak stations in Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO providing national rail service.
||free ferry transportation across the Illinois River at IL Rte. 100 (about one mile north of Grafton)
|Golden Eagle Ferry
||Ferry across the Mississippi River for access from Missouri to Calhoun County, Illinois
||open daily May 1 - Oct. 31 and carries passengers from St. Charles, Mo., to Grafton
||free ferry transportation across the Illinois River at IL Rte. 100 & 96