August 9, 2011

Plan for massive logistics park in West Memphis under way

After a national search, West Memphis officials recently signed a $96,000 agreement with Caldwell Richards Sorenson Engineers to develop a master rail plan for a 2,500-acre rail-port logistics park to be built adjacent to the Port of West Memphis.

The plan will address three areas in the planned park – a rail-port transload facility, rail-served manufacturing space and rail-served industrial space.

The planned park will be developed through a public/private partnership and will include approximately 11 million square feet of rail-served industrial space for distribution centers, light assembly facilities and packing/repacking operations.

With quick truck route access to I-40 and I-55 and with the Union Pacific Intermodal Rail Yard only 7 miles away, West Memphs Economic Development Director Ward Wimbish says the park will be a significant asset for the city as it increases its profile as a distribution hub.

“This project is a forward-thinking step on the city’s part,” Wimbish says. “Not only will be it be an attractive option for logistics and manufacturing operations today, we’re guaranteeing it won’t be obsolete in the future by building in the capacity to handle the longer unit trains that will be part of the distribution industry’s future.”

The transload facility will include a floating dock on the Mississippi River, a conveyor system, two-way movement between river and rail, truck loading facilities and onsite storage, Wimbish said.

Read more about targeted industries for West Memphis.

Master Rail Plan Draft