SEGMENT I – FACT SHEET
- Provides a new five-mile-long rail line to serve over 1,000 acres of industrial-zoned lands in the Wheeler Industrial Corridor within Moses Lake;
- Provides freight rail access to help existing businesses and agricultural producers expand, and to attract new businesses and industry to the corridor;
- Route alignment will primarily be west along the southern portion of Wheeler Road, shifting northwest to cross over Crab Creek and join the rehabilitated existing rail line (NCBR Segment 3) to the Port/GCIA;
- Allows for trains to be re-routed out of downtown Moses Lake, creating new opportunities for public access;
- Allows for trains to be removed from aging rail infrastructure;
- Constructs four at-grade rail crossings.
Estimated Schedule/Timeline for Segment 1
- 2017 – Prepare preliminary engineering design; conduct surveys and geotechnical investigation for design; conduct research and fieldwork for environmental permitting (wetlands, water- bodies, biological, cultural)
- 2018 – Finalize preliminary engineering design; finalize right-of-way requirements, update environmental analysis
- 2019 – The STB is expected to issue a record of decision in Fall of 2019. Upon that decision, FRA will obligate the Project’s federal funds and property acquisition will commence. Final design and permitting will begin at that time.
- 2020 – Complete ROW acquisitions: select contractor, start construction
- 2021 – Complete construction of Segment 1
Current Status of Segment 1
The pre-design activities for most parcels are complete and Segment 1 is currently at a 60% design. Ongoing work with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) regarding new at-grade rail crossings is anticipated to begin in April 2019. Additional environmental study are anticipated to continue through Spring 2019 as the Supplemental EA is completed.
In Fall 2018, the Port requested that STB analyze modifications to the 2009 approved Segment 1 alignment to realign portions of the route and reduce conflicts with the built environment constructed. The modifications proposed by the Port include:
- An alignment shift to avoid existing irrigation infrastructure
- An alignment that reduces conflicts with entrances to businesses and utilities, and reduces the number of skewed rail crossings.
NCBRP Latest Update: November, 2018