The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the Central Utah Agri-Park Project Area resolution for six central Utah counties, creating Utah’s fifth inland port. The decision was made during UIPA’s board meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, in Nephi. This initiative, with the backing of the Six County Association of Governments, is set to benefit Utah’s family farms, strengthen the economy and enhance food security across the state.

The impact of the Central Utah Agri-Park, which includes collaboration efforts with Sanpete, Juab, Wayne, Millard, Piute and Sevier counties, will extend to every county in Utah. The innovative project leverages both rail and highway infrastructure, enabling efficient production, processing, storage and transportation of goods within the state and beyond.

“Anchored in Juab County, the Central Utah Agri-Park Project Area brings together a diverse array of partners, including the Utah Department of Ag and Food, Utah Food Producer Group, UDOT, Utah’s water agencies, federal and state land agencies, private sector entities and many others,” said Ben Hart, UIPA Executive Director. “With a shared goal of meaningful rural economic development, responsible infrastructure planning and enhanced food security, this project promises to be a model for regional progress.”

Several key areas within the Central Utah Agri-Park Project Area are under consideration:

Current Creek Industrial Park: Located 3 miles west of Interstate 15 via SR 54, this industrial park offers easily accessible land with proximity to Mona and Nephi. With potential rail access and affordable electricity, it presents opportunities for manufacturing, distribution and access to the North American rail network.

Nortonville Rail Site: Juab County’s newest rail-served facility, constructed in 2019-2020, specializes in the transloading of coil and roll-formed products. Its strategic location near Interstate 15 positions it well for sustainable economic growth.

Six County Agri-Park: This flagship component of the Central Utah Agri-Park Project Area is designed to empower family farms and enhance food security. Combining rail and highway infrastructure, it facilitates the production, processing and transportation of goods both within Utah and to external markets.

The Agri-Park project encompasses several existing rail-served facilities, including Canyon Fuel Company Coal Loadout, Central Utah Grain, Redmond Minerals, Azomite Minerals and John Kuhni Sons Inc. These facilities underscore the potential for efficient cargo movement and regional growth.

With two Interstate 15 exits providing access to the Project Area, Juab County serves as the backbone of central Utah’s economy. The county’s place is critical in synergizing the interests of all counties in central Utah. The six-county region will use the Central Utah Agri-Park as a type of “hub and spoke” model to catalyze logistics in a way that will benefit shippers throughout the entire region.

“UIPA remains committed to optimizing existing rail infrastructure and fostering innovative infrastructure solutions in collaboration with the Project Area communities,” said Hart. “There is immense potential as the Central Utah Agri-Park continues to evolve and we are confident these partnering counties will emerge as a leading economic focal point in the state.”