Utah Inland Port Authority adopts Castle Country area project

Jun 25, 2024, 9:00 AM

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CARBON COUNTY, Utah — The Utah Inland Port Authority has announced a new project area in Carbon and Emery Counties. The project, dubbed the Castle Country Inland Port, is aimed at diversifying the regional economy.

Potential for growth

According to a statement by UIPA, the project “is designed to leverage the underutilized rail and logistic assets to stimulate substantial economic growth.”

Historically, coal mining was a major source of economic activity in Carbon and Emery Counties. Local mines used railroads to transport large amounts of coal for energy production. As the nation transitions away from coal power, that activity has slowed.

However, new business investments in the area show increased potential for business and an increased demand for infrastructure.

“With the Castle Country Project Area, we are positioned to transform the region’s economic base from traditional industries to more diversified and sustainable sectors,” said Ben Hart, a UIPA executive director. “This initiative will attract investments into the region, creating a ripple effect of benefits for local communities.”

Support from local government

Carbon County passed a resolution requesting a UIPA project area in September 2023. Emery County and Green River City followed suit later in 2024.

“We are not only anticipating economic growth but also ensuring it is done responsibly and sustainably to benefit our residents for generations to come,” said Carbon County Commissioner Larry Jensen.

Green River City, located in Emery County, is a short drive away from three national parks. With a large number of natural and historic sites in the area, many have voiced a desire for conservation to be a priority.

“We are deeply committed to protecting the historical and cultural heritage that makes Castle Country unique,” said Green River City Mayor Ren Hatt.

The project area covers more than 2,000 acres in total. Planners intend to reduce upfront costs by using existing rails, roadways, and fiber internet. 

Related: Utah files lawsuit over BLM Public Lands Rule

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Utah Inland Port Authority adopts Castle Country area project