By Gina Salinas, Public Information Officer, Pinal County

Pinal County is ready to move forward after receiving the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 15.3 million grant will go towards the roadway infrastructure needed for the Inland Port Arizona (IPAZ) improvement project and its anchor tenant, Nikola Motor Company.

IPAZ will be located between Phoenix and Tucson consisting of approximately 2,7000 acres of land within the city limits of Coolidge in Pinal County. Houser Road lies within the jurisdiction of the City of Eloy. It will represent a unique opportunity with many regional incentives including job growth, increased property value, and private economic development. Inland ports will offer a relief valve to congested coastal ports while providing a more cost-effective solution to logistics by region. The location facilitates rail and truck access with its close proximity to Interstate 10 and Interstate 8, making it ideal to serve the southwest region.

The BUILD funding will be used to improve access to and from the IPAZ, specially to the Nikola Motor Company facility, to accommodate the increase traffic Nikola will generate during construction and in future manufacturing operations. The plans will include improvements to the roadways along both Hanna Road and Houser Road between Vail Road and State Route 87. Funding will also include improvements to the intersection at State Route 87 and Houser Road along with railroad crossing controls needed at the rail crossing on Houser Road and Hanna Road.

Pinal County was the lead applicant and the City of Coolidge was the joint applicant. Pinal County is very appreciative to all that were involved in the efforts. Many thanks go to the City of Coolidge, Saint Holding, Nikola Motor Company, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Sun Corridor MPO, City of Eloy, Union Pacific Railroad and many others.

Board Chairman Mike Goodman states, “I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a BUILD grant for Inland Port. Pinal County has a robust and growing economy, with a strong business climate, and this award serves as further recognition that Pinal County is a great place to do business.”

“I am delighted that Inland Port in my district has been selected for a BUILD grant, Supervisor Pete Rios remarks with enthusiasm . “Inland Port will produce thousands of jobs in the area from such projects as the Nikola Motor Company’s construction of a large manufacturing facility to build hydrogen-electric semi-trucks, which alone is expected to produce more than 3,500 jobs and more than $1 billion in total economic output.”