The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Board has unanimously approved the Golden Spike Project Area resolution in Box Elder County to create the state’s fourth inland port, to be served by Union Pacific (UP).
The move furthers UIPA’s “state directive to facilitate appropriate development throughout the state of Utah that encourages the retention and expansion of existing companies and the recruitment of new companies to create employment opportunities for residents surrounding project areas,” Salt Lake City-based UIPA reported Aug. 22.
The Golden Spike Project Area comprises land in Brigham City, Garland, Tremonton, and Box Elder County (download project area plan below).
The project is slated to alleviate traffic congestion and improve logistics efficiency. “By processing cargo locally in the Brigham City location, freight that would typically pass through Box Elder and other southern counties can be efficiently distributed, reducing the strain on roadways and enhancing reliability for shippers,” UIPA said. “Additionally, the project aims to leverage existing rail infrastructure to create rail-served industrial spaces, allowing businesses to transport cargo with dimensional or weight considerations. Developing an alternative fueling station within the project area that supports alternative fuel trucking will drive the adoption of cleaner transportation technologies.”
Box Elder County spans more than 6,700 square miles and is adjacent to the states of Idaho and Nevada. “Its borders with Utah counties, such as Weber and Cache, witness a daily net migration of more than 7,000 workers,” UIPA reported. “This migration pattern underscores the need for local economic development and job opportunities.”
Now that the UIPA Board has approved the project area, the build-out—including construction, development and recruitment—could take 25 years to complete, according to the UIPA website.
“Collaborating with UIPA on the Golden Spike Project Area marks a turning point for Box Elder County and the entire region,” Box Elder County Commissioner Stan Summers said. “With a focus on light industrial, aerospace, composites, food manufacturing, steel-related industries and more, this project area is set to attract high-tech advanced manufacturing jobs and create a thriving economic focal point.”
UIPA’s three other inland port project areas are: Northwest Quadrant (also known as the jurisdictional land located in the northwest corner of Salt Lake County), Iron Springs (in Iron County), and Verk Industrial Park (in Spanish Fork).
In related developments, BZI and affiliate Commerce Crossroads™ on April 5 reported that their plans to develop an 820-acre rail-served industrial park and transportation hub in Cedar City, Utah, have been approved by the UIPA Board; this hub will be part of the Iron Springs Project Area. UIPA on Aug. 22 reported that Utah Gov. Spencer James Cox, local leaders, community members, and UIPA team members broke ground on the Iron Springs Project Area. BZI and affiliate Commerce Crossroads™ and RailSync™, a rail transloading service, hosted the groundbreaking. RailSync provides expanded short line rail service to individual facilities located in Commerce Crossroads, which will be the developer of the industrial park, according to UIPA. VISCO, an affiliated general contractor, will offer services including build-to-suit contracting. “This new facility will allow cargo to come directly to the facility in Iron County, helping to reduce truck traffic that would have originated from the Northwest Quadrant of Salt Lake City,” UIPA reported.
Also, the Port of Long Beach (POLB), UIPA and UP in 2021 announced that they were adding capacity to an existing regularly scheduled direct rail intermodal service connecting the POLB to the Northwest Quadrant, part of UIPA’s jurisdictional area. The initiative was meant to “bring rapid relief from existing port congestion by optimizing rail deliveries between California and Utah.” UP provides the long-haul service from POLB to UIPA. Upon arrival, UIPA handles distribution via truck or rail to a new destination or to a distribution center.