Utah Inland Port Authority announces six public purpose projects

The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Board of Directors approved today the creation of a funding mechanism for six new projects that will reduce current air emissions and improve rail access for Utah businesses. The infrastructure projects are focused in UIPA’s current jurisdictional area in the northwest of the Salt Lake Valley and fulfill UIPA’s mission of sustainable, equitable, and smart logistics investment.

“All these projects are designed to address gaps currently in Utah’s logistic system, which is the primary role of the Port Authority,” said Jack Hedge, Executive Director of UIPA. “Providing this underlying infrastructure supports the entire ecosystem of the jurisdictional area – from a logistics standpoint, to the environment, to the community – everyone benefits.”

Today’s vote to create a Public Infrastructure District (PID) puts into motion a mechanism to finance the projects, which are aimed at mitigating current impacts created by existing industrial development. The proposed projects include:

Transloading Facility

The UIPA transloading/cross-dock facility adjacent to the Union Pacific Intermodal Railyard will offer international and domestic cargo stakeholders a cost-effective and efficient inland alternative option by leveraging existing infrastructure and Union Pacific’s services and proximity to the rail ramp in Salt Lake City.

Through an investment-grade business case analysis, UIPA has identified at minimum the three California port gateways of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland for the transloading facility to compete for international cargo volumes. Additional lanes have been identified as cargo begins to move inland. The study identified market volumes totaling 2.2 million TUEs and 1.2 million containers. UIPA will continue to build on exports out of the region to balance out the market.

As UIPA builds the transloading facility, it will focus on sustainability and smart logistics actions that include sustainable construction technology, increased water and energy efficiency, reduced waste and emissions, using eco-friendly building materials, and improving indoor environmental quality. The equipment used inside the building with be automated and equipment outside the building, under UIPA control, will be zero or near zero emission.

The transload facility shifts cargo containers from truck to rail, taking three trucks off the road between California and Salt Lake City by consolidating the contents of three ocean containers into two domestic containers. An associated truck parking facility that was funded as part of the 2022 budget will also provide auxiliary power for truck drivers, reducing idling trucks overnight on Salt Lake City side streets.

Renewable Energy Refueling Station

UIPA is working with partners to develop, execute, and operate a renewable fueling station for private and/or public use within the jurisdictional land area. The station, when completed, will provide for refueling of CNG/LNG, EV, and hydrogen. The project will enable the production and distribution from the site and will provide mobile capability to take renewable energy resources to the customer.

Acquisition of Infrastructure and Real Property

UIPA is working towards an agreement to acquire existing infrastructure, including a rail spur and test track, and to assist with additional infrastructure build out to increase the capacity of the test track on site. The test track connects to the short line within the jurisdiction where UIPA is working on an expansion project to accomplish multiple objectives. The project will contribute in deconflicting at-grade crossings in adjacent neighborhoods, providing greater access and livability as well as reducing idling by both cars and trains. Additionally, UIPA is working to advance rail access N I-80 to support rail access to properties in the area for enhancing manufacturing and existing business.

UIPA is working with Utah’s federal delegation to identify the appropriate steps for the Department of Homeland Security to reassign agents to Utah for a customs bonded facility. UIPA has identified a building for the facility that has rail access, loading docks for bonded warehousing, and storage capacity.

Community Partnership Project

UIPA and Stadler Rail are establishing a joint venture to develop a community partnership project that includes an employee dining and daycare with an industrial kitchen and pre-k opportunities for the community. The facility will provide breakfast and lunch for employees of surrounding businesses. During off hours, the kitchen will be available for the community to access restaurant-grade facilities to use for personal needs and professional development.

The objective is to provide a space for both employees within the jurisdictional area and for the community. UIPA believes that this opportunity will make a difference in the lives of families by providing quality, affordable services that are close to their place of work.

North Temple Rail Line

UIPA is working collaboratively with the property owner of the North Temple Landfill to acquire an easement for development of a rail line across the property to open up rail access north of I-80. The property is currently a brownfield site requiring remediation. UIPA is in communication with the landowner and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality on a remediation action plan.

Road Design and Development

Salt Lake County completed a study of the viability of building out 7200 West from SR 201 to 700 North. The study indicated that the addition of 7200 West would provide additional freight connectivity and create a more efficient freight network. Of the projected 22,000 average daily trips along 7200 West, approximately 6,000 (27%) are expected to be heavy trucks.

UIPA is currently reviewing the phasing of the study for efficiency in freight movement in the jurisdictional area. Over the last half decade, The Utah Department of Transportation has improved traffic in the area, specifically along 5600 West and the I-80/5600 West Interchange and continues to build out segments of the Mountain View Corridor, from SR-201 to I-80. Connecting 7200 West in this area, even in a phased approached, will benefit both businesses and employees into the future.

For more information about the Public Infrastructure District, click here.

About the Utah Inland Port Authority

The Utah Inland Port Authority is a state agency with a regional approach to increase utilization and expand access for commerce throughout Utah. UIPA improves logistics infrastructure within the statewide system through high-speed broadband and zero emissions tech to revolutionize how logistics are done. One third of Utah’s GDP, employment, and incomes are dependent on the logistics system. Visit inlandportauthority.utah.gov for more information.