Monday, November 2, 2009

Punta Colonet Revival Spurs Yuma

Revived activity in the on-again, off-again plans to construct a new container port at Punta Colonet on the Mexican West Coast have also kick started old dreams of a possible multimodal logistics center near the intersection of the California, Arizona and Mexico borders.

Mexican authorities this week are expected to close a new round of bids on the Punta Colonet port, envisioned by the Mexican government to lure Asian cargo away from Southern California ports where it will be shipped via rail to the US heartland.

The logistics center plan, first proposed in 2006, hopes to have Yuma, Arizona chosen as the location where rail service from the Punta Colonet port merges with United States mainline tracks. The study also looks at the viability of such a facility even if the Punta Colonet port is not built, mainly to service the Southwest as a distribution center for cargo coming from Southern California.

A preliminary draft study of the proposed rail warehouse and redistribution facility was presented to local stakeholders in Yuma last week.

While the downturn in the national economy put off further development of the plan back in 2006, the study was not abandoned, but rather shelved in the hopes that an economic turnaround could one day boost the project.

The study was undertaken by the Arizona Department of Transportation Multimodal Planning Division and the CanaMex Task Force.

All the parties involved in the study admit it would still be many years, and require a turnaround in the economy, before the Yuma facility could be undertaken.