|A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official grand opening of the new Great Bend Transload facility. The ribbon was cut by a train traveling across it. Photo courtesy: Brandon Steinert.|
A ribbon cutting ceremony today marked the official grand opening of the new Great Bend transload facility. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson and other officials participated in the event, which celebrated the economic benefits to south central Kansas.
“The Great Bend transload facility is an important addition to the region,” said Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. “With more than $1.4 million directly spent in the local community and 13 new private sector jobs created, the region is already seeing the economic benefits from this new facility.”
Great Bend was selected as a transload facility site in 2015, and construction began in July 2016. The facility is currently being used for the storage of wind energy components and will be operational for aggregate and cement within the next month.
“Freight plays an important role in moving the state economy, and this transload facility is already providing infrastructure that will benefit the community and increase opportunities for freight shipping and cost effectiveness,” said Secretary Carlson. “KDOT is proud to have played a role in helping make this project possible.”
|KDOT Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson addresses a crowd|
attending the Great Bend Transload facility ribbon cutting ceremony.
Photo courtesy: Brandon Steinert.
KDOT contributed $3 million in state funds to the $8 million project for new rail construction. An additional $360,000 in federal funds will improve the rail crossing on U.S. 56 just north of the Airport Road/U.S. 56 intersection. The remaining funds were contributed by private industry.
“This facility is an incredible addition to our community and we are appreciative of all of the project partners who have contributed significantly to this development,” said Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison. “It will have an enormous impact on the future growth of our area, the region, and our state in serving the agribusiness and industrial markets.”
|Transload equipment that will move aggregate through the facility.|
The Great Bend transload facility provides the infrastructure needed to move goods from truck to trail and rail to truck. Partners for the project are Watco Companies and the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (K&O Railroad), Sherwood Companies, the City of Great Bend, Fuller Properties, and The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development. Kansas Transload Services operates the facility.