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NPR’s Journeys of Discovery Visits Missouri Northeast: Exploring Mississippi River’s U. S. Army Corps’ Lock & Dam No. 20

Missouri Northeast is a great place for companies that are looking to grow, make, move, or connect. The region is so unique and innovative that it piqued the interest of award-winning NPR podcast host Tom Wilmer. He recently visited Missouri Northeast to see for himself what the region has to offer.

In the next episode of the series, Tom visits with Ralph Martin at Lock & Dam Number 20 on the Mississippi near Canton in Lewis County, Missouri.

Martin is the Executive Director of Lewis County Economic Development. He shares his insights about the lock and dam and the economic advantages of river transport versus trucks and trailers on the highways.

Ralph Martin, U. S. Army Corps’ Lock & Dam No. 20:

“From an economic standpoint, my focus is really on this river…the drivers that I’ve been trying to pursue are river-related. More port activity to try and move more stuff off the highways and get it on the river. Everybody’s got highways and trains…We’ve got a river and need to take advantage of that.”

Missouri is home to the confluence of the two largest rivers in North America, the Missouri and the Mississippi. The state also provides the northernmost ice-free port on the Mississippi with unrestricted access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Missouri waterways move $8 billion in cargo each year. In fact, so much agricultural product is shipped via river barge from the St. Louis region that a 15-mile section of the Mississippi River has become known as the “Ag Coast” of America.

Check out the full conversation on the Journeys of Discovery podcast here, and stay tuned for more coverage of Tom’s visit to Missouri Northeast.

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