PRICHARD, W.Va. — State transportation officials say work is progressing on schedule on a new intermodal facility in Wayne County. The Heartland Intermodal Gateway at Prichard has the potential to be a sizeable inland port.
“This is another tool in our tool box,” said Doug York, director of the West Virginia Port Authority. “Not only do we have train loader facilities, we have intermodal facilities if you need to move goods to the East Coast or to the West Coast.”
Companies with coast to coast shipping needs are the target clientele as the state develops uses for the facility now being built. A company can unload ships at an East Coast harbor, truck them to West Virginia and have them loaded on a train bound for California. The project would also be attractive to an East Coast manufacturer who ships products to the western United States.
“About one in every five vehicles on the road is a commercial vehicle now,” York said. “It’s very difficult to come up with a method to reduce those and allow our highways to last longer. Intermodal facilities do that and reduce the commercial traffic on the road.”
The shipping via rail or in some cases barge is also the cheaper way to go for some products.
York said the target date for completion is 2015 and they are presently going to national trade shows and seeking out potential clients who could use the facility.
“What the future holds is very positive for these types of facilities,” said York. “There may be other locations we look at in the future, depending on what the market bares and needs.”