Union Pacific Railroad is ready to serve a new intermodal center located on its main line in the Pacific Northwest.
Multiple stakeholders including the Oregon Department of Transportation, ConGlobal, Linn County Economic Development Group and Northwest Seaport Alliance, came together to transform the former International Paper Mill into a functional industrial complex, with Union Pacific partnering to bring in the freight rail component.
“I’m particularly proud of this project because of what it demonstrates: that the public and private sectors can do great things when we work together for good,” said Kris Strickler, director, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Mid-Willamette Valley Intermodal Center (MVIC) is a $35.5 million, 64-acre multimodal hub in Millersburg, Oregon, connecting rail, trucks and ocean carriers to the valley’s natural resource-based economy. Trucks will bring in international intermodal containers for transload to rail cars before traveling north to Pacific Northwest marine terminals.
"The vision for this project was to make exporters and importers more cost- and equipment-efficient; to get trucks and freight out of Portland traffic; and to be more competitive moving freight to the Midwest and East Coast U.S. buyers," said Karla Chambers, co-owner and vice president, Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc. "This rail facility will also help us as we experience high diesel costs and truck driver and labor shortages."
According to ODOT, approximately 81% of exported agricultural products from Mid-Willamette Valley are loaded onto ships in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. This facility will allow commodities to bypass Interstate 5 and the highway system to reach national and global markets via rail – reducing trucking traffic congestion near Portland, Seattle and Tacoma.
"Union Pacific looks forward to serving MVIC customers through our innovative freight rail franchise," said Aaron Hunt, Union Pacific senior director-Public Affairs.
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ODOT Connect Oregon works with partners to create programs and projects bolstering the economy while reducing road congestion.
“In 2017, we chose four projects to receive ODOT's Connect Oregon funding, based on the multiple benefits these projects would bring us. I’m proud to say we made a great choice – the right choice,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “Working together, we have created a success we can all be proud of.”