Decade-long rail improvement project nearing completion
The Port of Vancouver USA’s West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA) is a decade-long, $250 million effort by the port to create jobs and generate economic benefit by investing in freight rail infrastructure.
The overall project consists of 21 individual projects to improve freight rail movement through the port and along the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad 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, 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. This 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 has many tenants and customers who move bulk products such as grain, fertilizer, minerals and steel. Efficiency is critical for bulk businesses, and one of the ways to improve this is through efficient loading and unloading of products and the use of unit trains, which are freight trains carrying the same cars loaded with the same commodity with the same origin and destination. That’s where Project 11B comes in. By constructing a new lead track from our south entrance and additional load tracks for grain trains, this project increases the port’s rail capacity, specifically for our biggest customer by volume – United Grain Corp. – which moved more than 5 million metric tons of grain in 2016. Project 11B is expected to be complete by early 2018.
Investing in projects like WVFA is one way the Port of Vancouver leverages tax dollars, grants and revenue to support businesses and commerce, attract world-class industries to Vancouver and create jobs for our region.