Glacier Rail Park Construction Set to Begin
Community Invited to Join Groundbreaking Ceremony
Kalispell Core Area Partners Join Together August 22nd to Celebrate
Flathead County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is pleased to announce that the construction of the Glacier Rail Park will begin this month and a Groundbreaking Ceremony to celebrate will be held for the community on August 22 at 10am at 801 Whitefish Stage Road, formerly the McElroy & Wilkin gravel pit. Attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony are encouraged to follow signs for parking placed at the east access point of the rail park at the intersection of Montclair Drive, Flathead Drive and Oregon Lane behind Office Max on Hwy 2 East.
FCEDA joins together with the City of Kalispell to invite the public to participate in this event. Special guests joining the celebration include Senator Jon Tester as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Rail Administration, BNSF Railway Company and Watco/Mission Mountain Rail Companies.
Glacier Rail Park is the first phase of the Kalispell Core Area Project; a five-year, infrastructure and redevelopment project conceived to remove the rail tracks from downtown Kalispell and replace them with a pedestrian trail that stretches from Woodland Park to Meridian Road.
The City of Kalispell and FCEDA are partners on this transformative project that will bring over $38 million dollars in public and private new investment to the community in just the next few years. The two entities are the recipient of a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for investment in roads, rail, traffic signals, and a pedestrian trail; creating additional opportunities for investment and development in Kalispell’s Westside TIF District.
The two users of rail in the Kalispell Core Area currently are CHS Inc. and Northwest Drywall & Building Supply. In 2018 both companies will move to new facilities in Glacier Rail Park which is located at the northeastern edge of the city. Additionally, the rail park will offer team track for use by businesses located outside of the Rail Park who require occasional transload services or infrequent access to rail. FCEDA is pleased to partner with Watco Companies and Mission Mountain Rail to bring these services to Kalispell. One additional site of 8-10 acres located directly on the rail and zoned for industrial use is available for lease or purchase.
Led by the City of Kalispell and FCEDA, this transformative project is the result of extensive public/private partnerships that include private businesses and corporations from Fort Worth, TX to Minnesota; government agencies from the local level to the federal level; Montana West Economic Development as well as the Kalispell Business Improvement District and Downtown Association, Kalispell and Evergreen Chambers of Commerce and many individuals in the community who embraced a forward looking vision that capitalizes on all the resources Flathead Valley has to offer.
Background: The Kalispell Core Area project is the direct result of extensive community planning funded in 2010 by the US EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program to identify the community’s desires. The property and business owners in the area surrounding the train tracks in Kalispell expressed an overwhelming desire to remove the rail tracks from downtown Kalispell and replace them with a pedestrian trail that stretches from Woodland Park to Meridian Road. The City of Kalispell approached FCEDA in 2011 about creating a Rail Park in Kalispell using funds from a US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to create a Rail Park in Flathead County. The creation of Glacier Rail Park allows current and future rail users to capitalize on the Valley’s rail assets while removing the tracks from the downtown area where they hinder pedestrian and bike access, traffic flow and new development.
Additional information can be found on the following websites:
Kalispell Core and Rail at:www.KalispellCoreAndRail.com
Flathead County Economic Development Authority at: www.FlatheadCountyEDA.com
City of Kalispell at: www.kalispell.com/community_economic_development
Montana West Economic Development: dobusinessinmontana.com/events
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