GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — America's Central Port in the Mississippi River town of Granite City is receiving a $700,000 federal grant for rail and roadway improvements to spur business growth in the region.

In a news release, the U.S. Economic Development Administration says the project will help pay for the construction of about 2,200 feet of rail track at the Port's intermodal industrial park. It also will enhance the link between the nation's freight transportation network and manufacturers in the Granite City area as well as the work on a roadway.

Murphysboro Republican Rep. Mike Bost tells The (Alton) Telegraph the grant is a 'big deal for jobs and economic growth" for Madison County and Metro East area.

The Economic Development Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and invests in economically distressed communities.