CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s recently-created Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities has transferred ownership of the Heartland Intermodal Gateway in Prichard to the Wayne County Commission.
Built by the former West Virginia Public Port Authority following a 2013 agreement with the Norfolk Southern railroad, the 65-acre facility was designed to transfer 20-foot and 40-foot shipping containers between railcars and trucks. The $32 million project was paid for with a combination of state money and a federal grant award.
Gov. Justice and the WVDOT decided the best use for the facility would be to transfer ownership to local stakeholders who are most interested in seeing the Heartland Intermodal Gateway succeed.
“At the end of the day, when it comes to making sure the Heartland Intermodal Gateway is operating as its very best, there is no one better to lead the way than local leaders in Wayne County,” Gov. Justice said. “These are the people who are personally committed to making sure this important gateway succeeds, so it makes all the sense in the world to let the people with the most intimate knowledge take the reins.”
The West Virginia Board of Public Works approved the transfer of the facility on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
The Wayne County Commission issued the following quote:
“The Commission wishes to thank Governor Justice for supporting the transfer of the Heartland Intermodal Gateway facility to local control and sincerely appreciates the Governor’s confidence in local government’s ability to make this facility successful. This transfer is the result of over three years of meetings and negotiations with the Governor, his staff, the WVDOT, and the Commission. Senator Robert Plymale has been instrumental in the process and the logistics of the transfer process, along with assistance early on from Delegate Matthew Rohrbach. From the beginning, this process has been a true team effort. The Commission is currently working with Marshall University’s Appalachian Transportation Institute (ATI), the Huntington Area Development Council (HADCO), and experts in the field of transportation to see what role this facility will provide in support of fragile supply chains. We are excited about the economic opportunity this facility offers Wayne County going forward.”
In March 2022, the West Virginia Legislature created the Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities, combining the Port Authority, State Rail Commission, Aeronautics Commission, and Public Transit divisions into one entity under the WVDOT. The Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities took over the responsibilities of the former Port Authority following the merger.