Union Pacific is making land claims out west, and it is leading people to believe the Class 1 is preparing for a line expansion.
There is a plan out there connecting the far east side of Mesa, Ariz., to an existing Union Pacific rail route along Rittenhouse Road.
The Class 1 has made four land deals over the last few months. In late June, 41 acres near Ellsworth and Pecos roads were purchased for $14.7 million. In May, six acres were acquired near Pecos and Hawes roads. In late 2021, about 30 acres along Pecos and Sossaman roads were claimed by Union Pacific. More land also is owned between Rittenhouse and Pecos roads.
The Maricopa County Assessor’s parcel view now shows a long east-west line of land that could be used for the construction of a railroad track.
The Pecos Industrial Railway and Track Extension project has been talked about for years in Mesa, and CMC Steel decided to construct a second $300 million mill in the area because of the project.
However, other land acquisitions have not cooperated with the Union Pacific endeavor. A chunk of property near Pecos and Sossaman that would be needed for the railroad to cross and reach CMC Steel was acquired before Union Pacific could get its hands on it. The site was redesigned so a railroad could be built along the north side in the future.
There also is proposed development along the Rittenhouse alignment that was noted in a 2020 Economic Development Advisory Board Meeting.