The Tulsa Port has been awarded a $6.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Inola Industrial Park Rail Switching Enhancement Project through the INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) Program. The project and grant application were assembled by the same public-private partnership that was created in 2014 to help locate the 1.8 million square foot, $360 million manufacturing facility for Sofidel America at the Inola, Oklahoma industrial site owned by Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).
“Strong partnerships of local, state, and federal agencies with private industry are the reason for the historical success of the Tulsa Port. This opportunity for continued investment into the Inola site will benefit Rogers County and the region for decades to come.” said Rogers County Commission Chair, Ron Burrows.
In 2019, PSO entrusted the Tulsa Port with the future development of the Inola industrial site through a historic land transfer of the remaining 2,000+ acres.
“This land transfer was key in creating the environment for infrastructure development and stewardship that US-DOT was seeking for their INFRA investment. The Tulsa Port is grateful to Peggy Simmons and Janet Smith with PSO for their vision to ensure the long-term economic development of the region through the land transfer,” said Steve Dowty, Chairman of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority.
The INFRA grant provides approximately 50-percent of the funding for the rail switching project that includes improving an existing three-mile industrial rail spur from the Union Pacific Railroad mainline, constructing two new drop-pull tracks, 8,000 feet of industrial loop track, a wye connector to the mainline, and will improve three at-grade road crossings that intersect the track. The total development encompasses over 6.5 miles of new and upgraded railroad track. The completed project is estimated to cost $12.1 million and is a critical step in developing the transportation infrastructure for the current tenant (Sofidel America) and future industries that locate in the industrial park.
“The Tulsa Port of Catoosa and the Port’s Inola industrial site stand as two of the region’s greatest economic development assets. This grant ensures that the Inola site will continue to be an anchor for existing and future employers that will benefit Tulsa, the region, and the entire state of Oklahoma. We greatly appreciate the local leaders who pursued this grant and our federal delegation for their support, “ said Mayor G.T. Bynum.
“The Tulsa Port’s endeavor to develop its newly acquired 2,000+ acres of land in Inola, Oklahoma into a world class port and industrial location will be greatly enhanced by this INFRA Grant award,” said David Yarbrough, Port Director of the Tulsa Port. “We would like to thank Senator Inhofe and Representative Mullin for their support in this grant process, and their efforts to champion investment in infrastructure which promotes economic development throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, this grant application would not have been possible without the true public-private partnership and support of Rogers County, The Oklahoma Department of Commerce, The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Sofidel America, WATCO Companies, and INCOG (Indian Nation Council of Governments).”
“This Administration is focused on infrastructure improvements and this $906 million in federal funding would improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads across the country to better connect our communities, enhance safety, and support economic growth,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.