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Port Freeport in Texas hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last week to mark the start of construction on the first phase of the Parcel 14 Rail Development project. Part of the port's long-term strategy, the $21 million rail project is designed to enhance land-side accessibility and supply chain efficiency for Brazoria County's petrochemical industry and other port users, port officials said in a press release.Union Pacific Railroad will offer manifest train service at the site.Parcel 14 is a 250-acre site adjacent to State Highway 36 and near the Brazos River Diversion Canal. The site will be developed into a multimodal industrial park offering warehouse facilities for plastic resins packaging, cross-docking activities and distribution centers.Additional areas of the site have been earmarked for new vehicle processing and storage.“In addition to adding rail capacity to Port Freeport’s infrastructure portfolio, the new rail facility will enhance our partnerships with area industry, and will be the first step in future connections to the Texas International Trade Corridor," said Port Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Saathoff.About 21,000 linear feet of track will be built, including a 6,000-foot lead track spurring from UP's mainline at Cherry Street. That track will cross State Highway 36, then connect to three 5,000-foot ladder tracks.James Construction is scheduled to begin construction on the project this month. The rail infrastructure is expected to be fully operational by July 2018.
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