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Rail to Road facility may be operational by late February

A Rail to Road transloading facility is being constructed on approximately 13 acres in the southeast quarter of Section 32, Worthington Township, near Org. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — A transloading facility that will deliver product to rural Worthington on the Buffalo Ridge Regional Rail Authority shortline railroad may be operational by the end of February, according to Clark Meyer, president of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Rail to Road Inc.

Meyer had originally hoped to have the facility completed last fall, but it was held up after the state stepped in and took over the permitting process. The Nobles County Planning Commission approved of the plans late last June, with the Nobles County Board of Commissioners following suit in early July.

“It took about six weeks to get approval of the plans (from the state), and now we’re waiting on the state inspector again,” Meyer said Tuesday, sharing his frustration with state agencies. The current wait is for an inspector to check the plumbing work for the single toilet and sink inside the structure.

Aside from those delays, Meyer said construction — which began in October — is going well thus far. All of the concrete has been poured for the footings, and work is under way to set the steel.

“Weather-wise, we’ve been blessed,” Meyer said. “I think they’ve got a couple weeks of heavy crane work — it’s getting close.”

The transloading facility is being constructed on approximately 13 acres in the southeast quarter of Section 32, Worthington Township, near Org. The facility will unload materials from rail cars that travel the Union Pacific and Ellis & Eastern railways and reload product onto trucks.

At this time, Meyer said Portland cement (the basic ingredient in concrete) will be delivered by rail cars for use in local markets, including ready-mix plants. He has also picked up a contract to haul in lumber that will be used in new construction of buildings in the area, and continues to work on leads to eventually bring more product in through the transloading facility.

Meyer anticipates six truck loads will go out from the facility per day.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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