EDR Group, in association with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, developed a comprehensive economic impact assessment of investments in the Illinois River system and marine locks and dams. The team estimated the workforce, business activity, and economic potential for the 22 counties and the State of Illinois for forecasted traffic expected under each of five lock extension and deferred maintenance reduction scenarios. Implications forthe economies of other states were also assessed.
For this study, EDR Group produced industry cluster profiles, an inventory of benefiting establishments and organizations, spatial analysis of the industry and employment tied to the River and a workforce assessment profiling residential patterns at the county level. Economic impacts were quantified using input-output analysis. Scenario analysis was used to quantify the sensitivity of the base case values to a range of investments and freight volumes. The final reports and presentation conveyed the significance of the Illinois River to business, industry and the people of Illinois and identify potential benefits from additional investment to improve the system.