Hesperia officials rolled out a steel red carpet for industry Thursday morning, cutting — or rather, snapping — the ribbon on a new train track intended to allow businesses direct access to the BNSF Railway.
A BNSF locomotive snapped the ribbon on the G Avenue Industrial Lead Track. The rail spur provides rail access which opens up 200 mostly undeveloped acres of property in the city's industrial zone. Officials expect the rail line will attract new businesses to the city and allow existing businesses to ship their goods more cheaply. The city is also considering building a "transload" facility that will allow businesses not located along the rail line to load and unload goods from rail cars.
"We have a resurgence, right now, of manufacturing," said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, "and it's happening right here."
The one-mile rail line is located within the city's enterprise zone. Officials expect the rail line to ultimately generate 400 jobs.
"The journey's not over until we find the right clientele," said Michael Devine, BNSF Director of Economic Development. "Some day, we'll look back on this day as a significant milestone."
The city's $5.6 million contribution to the $8.6 million project was provided by the now-defunct Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency. According to officials, the area surrounding the track is the only available real-served industrial area in the Victor Valley.
"This track will revitalize the industrial area of the city," Mayor Russ Blewett said.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.