The Port of Vancouver USA has begun work on the final two projects in its decade-long initiative to bolster growth by investing in freight rail infrastructure.
The $250-million West Vancouver Freight Access (WVFA) project consists of 21 individual projects to improve freight rail movement through the port and along BNSF and Union Pacific mainlines connecting the Pacific Northwest to major rail hubs in Chicago and Houston and from Canada to Mexico.
After several years of construction, the port and its contractors are building the final two contracts for WVFA, which are slated to be complete by early 2018.
Project 7: Kinder Morgan bulk unloading facility
Kinder Morgan moves a variety of dry bulks at the Port of Vancouver USA, including copper and bentonite clay. Project 7 demolishes Kinder Morgan’s existing facility and builds a larger facility in a new location, with a new conveyor system connecting to the existing storage building. Constructing Kinder Morgan’s bulk unloading facility in a new location allows the port to add more tracks to its rail corridor, including the pieces necessary to complete the next project in the WVFA series.
Kinder Morgan’s new, larger facility will allow the company to unload its products in a covered, enclosed area, which helps minimize dust from copper and other minerals during the transfer process. Project 7 is scheduled for completion late this year.
Project 11B: Grain track unit train improvements
The port says it has many tenants and customers who move bulk products and that efficiency is critical for bulk businesses. The port notes that one of the ways to improve this is through efficient loading and unloading of products and the use of unit trains, which is where Project 11B comes in. By constructing a new lead track from the port’s south entrance and additional load tracks for grain trains, this project increases the port’s rail capacity. Project 11B is expected to be complete by early 2018.
Construction on the WVFA began in 2007 and the port says the rail investments will reduce congestion on the region’s rail system and better serve current and future tenants, making them more competitive and set to grow.