Indiana port readies to handle big cargo for cement plant

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — A southern Indiana port on the Ohio River is preparing to handle barges loaded with parts as heavy as 100 tons (91 metric tons) for a cement plant’s $600 million expansion.

The Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville will receive more than 30 cargo-laden barges by June 30 destined for Lehigh Cement Inc.’s plant in Mitchell, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of the port.

More than 350 pieces of equipment and parts, some as large as 100 tons, are being shipped from New Orleans by barge to the port in Jeffersonville, just north of Louisville, Kentucky.

The cargo will be unloaded and stored until it’s ready to be hauled by truck to the Mitchell plant site, the News and Tribune reported.

The Indiana Department of Transportation will be accommodating an estimated 80 super loads, those over 18 feet in height, that will traverse southern Indiana highways and roads later this year.

Lehigh Cement’s plant expansion in Mitchell is expected to create about 50 new jobs once the new plant becomes operational in 2023.

The plant’s manager, Tracy Crowther, said it’s convenient that the project will be able to utilize a “port that also happens to be in our back yard.”

“The expansion project has a lot of moving pieces and given the delay last year, timing, cost-savings and logistics is critical to keep things moving forward,” Crowther said.

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