Kingsbury Intermodal Project would ship local produce south
LAPORTE, Ind. -- LaPorte County leaders want to build an inland port in Kingsbury, Indiana that would ship farm products from Indiana to Tampa Bay, Florida and beyond. Instead of shipping the goods by boat, they would be sent by rail from a distribution center near the CSX line at Hupp and 4th Line Road.
Shipping produce by truck isn't always the cheapest option.
Weather, location, and road conditions all play a factor in the cost.
That's part of the reason officials in LaPorte County are looking to ship more by rail.
"The potential for this is huge. It is mind-boggling, and exciting," said LaPorte County Commissioner Dr. Vidya Kora.
Dr. Kora is referring to the Kingsbury Intermodal Project that would ship things like produce back and forth from Indiana to Tampa Bay, Florida and then on to Central and South America.
The discussion started several years ago, but has gained momentum in recent weeks.
"From the LaPorte County end, things are moving smoothly. At the Tampa end, they still have some work to do," said Dr. Kora.
Developers are working to secure the land necessary to build the hub.
Contracts are also being negotiated, and the county is looking for more partners to help make the blueprint a reality.
"Once this is fully operational, it'll create about five hundred jobs," said Dr. Kora.
Area farmers and companies stand to benefit as well, but it's unclear when exactly a deal will be finalized.
Talks remain ongoing and Dr. Kora hopes for a decision within the next few months.
"It is anticipated that over the next year or so, we will see some action," said Dr. Kora.
Several companies in the area are optimistic about the deal, but are skeptical. They say without a company based here to handle the importing and exporting of these goods, the plan won't work.