HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Heartland Intermodal Gateway at Prichard in Wayne County is expected to be completed in December 2015 and have a major economic impact on the Tri-State area and West Virginia, visiting business leaders were told Monday.
State Sen. Bob Plymale joined more than 30 economic development officials from around the Mountain State to view construction of the intermodal facility during a breakout tour during the West Virginia Economic Development Council’s annual conference on Monday. Plymale, who has been a strong advocate for the facility for more than a decade, said the facility is nearly 50 percent complete.
While the Huntington area has many economic development sites to showcase to visiting business leaders, Plymale said the intermodal facility will be the only one of its kind in West Virginia, which makes it an obvious destination.
“If you’re going to compete globally, you’ve got to have the ability to ship containers because that’s what most things are shipped by,” Plymale said. “Most industries are going to that containerization, and this facility will allow you free access to the Port of Norfolk and to the Midwest and West Coast. It gives you the opportunity ship to anywhere in the nation, and in the world.”
Plymale said the intermodal facility would be advantageous for any company within a 75- to 100-mile radius, which includes businesses from Ohio and Kentucky. He said he recently spoke with Kentucky House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, who called the facility a “game changer.”
The Prichard site is a perfect location for such a facility, said Dan Motley, industrial development manager for Norfolk Southern Corporation. He said studies indicated the location, sitting along the company’s Heartland Corridor rail line, the Big Sandy River, U.S. 52 and near Tri-State Airport, was a logical fit in the company’s Heartland Corridor project.
“This sits right along our line that has (Norfolk, Virginia,) on one end and Columbus, Ohio, on the other…