The Union Pacific Railroad first announced plans to construct a classification yard in the Picacho area in 2006. The project received another nudge toward reality with the announcement of a pair of studies addressing infrastructure feasibility and the demand for industrial uses near the site.
Both studies were part of the Arizona State Land Department’s analysis in advance of possibly putting the needed land up for sale. Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios and County Manager Fritz A. Behring met yesterday with key legislators, staff from the Governor’s office and officials from the Arizona State Land Department to discuss the reports.
“This project would be an economic engine for Arizona, not just Pinal County. Upon the successful auction and sale of the state-owned land, there would be immediate employment opportunities for living-wage jobs,” said Supervisor Pete Rios.
“This project makes immediate sense for Arizona, taking into account some of the recommendations in the reports. It also makes long term sense for Arizona because it would spawn additional development and industry,” Rios explained.
Rios referred to opportunities for industrial and commercial development that would become more enticing due to rail and freeway access. While Rios thinks the Gruen Gruen & Associates study offers some valid recommendations, he thinks the study underestimates the strategic location of this project.