Home Back Issues May 2010 Wind farm construction puts stress on eastern railway yard

Wind farm construction puts stress on eastern railway yard

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
DSC_0014
P1000175
Officials want to expand Shutler Station, which is congested by wind farm construction (top); wind turbine parts are stored at Shutler Station (bottom).
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ERIK ZANDER

New wind farm construction is straining the capacity of Shutler Station Industrial Park to the point that Gilliam County officials are asking for a state grant for additional railway track.

The industrial park, which is eight miles south of Arlington, is being used as a “wind distribution center” for turbine parts for Shepherd’s Flat and Leaning Juniper wind farms. Wind companies are transporting parts to the construction site via rail instead of trucks because it is cheaper. Hillsboro-based Morgan Industrial, a heavy industrial-machine mover, has been leasing 15 of Shutler Station’s 90 acres since August 2009. It unloads turbine parts as they come in on rail, stores them, and later transports them to the construction site.

Shutler Station currently has 5,900 feet of rail track. Trains transporting wind parts are at least 6,000 feet long. “Right now, we don’t have enough rail to accommodate the larger size trains,” says Erik Zander, the distribution center’s project manager.

Gilliam County is applying for a $635,600 ConnectOregon grant to build an additional 2,250 feet of track. The grant is administered by the Department of Transportation, and will be awarded in August.

“I reviewed nine or 10 projects,” says Clark Jackson, a state business development officer for Gilliam County. “I felt that the job potential ranked it up to one of the highest ones.”

Jessica Bates, Gilliam County’s economic development officer, says construction of the new track could be completed by next spring. Bates believes the project eventually will go forward despite the recent nationwide moratorium on wind farm consruction by the Federal Aviation Adminstration because of military concerns.

The additional track could bring more economic activity unrelated to wind farms. Bates says that any construction south or east of Arlington uses Shutler Station. Gilliam County commissioner Dennis Gronquist says the additional track would make the industrial park more valuable. Rock, wheat and other commodities could be transported out of Gilliam because of the additional rail. “We’re pretty limited right now, but we hope to grow,” he says. 

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Kill the Meeting

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Meetings get a bad rap. A few local companies make them count.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Woman of Steel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


Read more...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS