The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Board of Directors on Oct. 5 unanimously approved the Mineral Mountains Park Project Area resolution for Beaver County to create the state’s sixth inland port, to be served by Union Pacific (UP).
The decision was made during UIPA’s board meeting held Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in Milford, Utah. Known for its rich history in rail, mining and agriculture, Beaver County is “uniquely positioned to harness the potential of the Mineral Mountains Project Area, leveraging its rugged geography and diverse natural resources,” according to the Authority.
Rail has played a vital role in Beaver County’s history, UIPA says, and will continue to do so, with UP’s presence dating back to 1880. Today, Milford serves as an important node in UP’s system, facilitating essential rail traffic between the California Coast and the Intermountain West.
According to UIPA, the Authority has been “instrumental in facilitating appropriate development within its jurisdictional land and other Project Areas throughout Utah.” As part of this endeavor, Beaver County is set to create a Project Area (download draft plan below) that will consist of four distinct zones, each designed to cater to various industries and contribute to the overall economic prosperity of the region.
“Establishing the Mineral Mountains Project Area is a significant milestone in Beaver County’s economic development journey,” said UIPA Executive Director Ben Hart. “This project is a testament to our commitment to sustainable growth and harnessing the potential of regional natural resources.”
The four zones within the Mineral Mountains Project Area are as follows:
Beaver City Zone: Spanning approximately 2,070 acres and situated adjacent to Interstate 15, this zone boasts essential infrastructure, including the Beaver Municipal Airport, offering valuable accessibility and logistical advantages.
Milford Depot Zone: Expanding the Project Area by approximately 445 acres, this zone includes strategic infrastructure assets, including the Smithfield Farms unit train loop track, Atkore’s industrial manufacturing facility and Rocky Mountain Power’s regional field office.
Milford Flats Zone: Covering approximately 17,115 acres north of Milford City and intersected by SR 257 and UP, this zone includes the Milford Municipal Airport and multiple renewable power plants.
Minersville City Zone: Adding 190 acres to the Project Area, this zone plays a pivotal role in the transition to agri-tech models of economic development and connects to SR 21 and SR 129.
“These zones possess a unique blend of historical expertise and natural resources that position Beaver County for success in emerging and diverse industries,” said Wade Hollingshead, Chairman of Beaver Board of County Commissioners. “The collaboration between Beaver County and the Utah Inland Port Authority is a powerful partnership that will fuel generational economic growth through targeted investments and logistics development.”
The expansion of the Mineral Mountains Project Area “aligns seamlessly with broader regional growth projections,” said UIPA. Beaver County’s population is anticipated to grow, and the county’s economy is poised to diversify, with a strong focus on renewable energy resources and enhanced transportation accessibility, according to the Authority.
UIPA’s five other inland port project areas are: Northwest Quadrant (also known as the jurisdictional land located in the northwest corner of Salt Lake County), Central Utah Agri-Park (in Juab County), Golden Spike (in Brigham City, Garland, Tremonton and Box Elder County), Iron Springs (in Iron County), Mineral Mountains (in Beaver City, Milford and Beaver County) and Verk Industrial Park (in Spanish Fork).
This article originally appeared on Railway Age.
Photo: UIPA photo