Plans for a new transload facility are moving ahead at Davenport's Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, where a rail spur was completed last year.

Construction is expected to begin next spring on the nearly $10 million facility, which is funded by a $6.7 million federal grant and by the city of Davenport. 

"The facility is designed to transfer goods and materials from trucks off the highway to rail cars on the track and vice versa," said Davenport Public Works director Mike Clarke.

The project will include a number of warehousing facilities to be built at the end of the rail spur and equipment to transfer product between rail and truck. The trains will enter on a single track and depart on another.

"We hope it provides an economic boost to the region and allows for manufacturers and businesses that don't have direct rail service to have another mode of transportation at their fingertips," he said.

Clarke said the city is working with the Canadian Pacific Railway, which owns the track that runs down to the Iowa American Water plant.

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"We have the final design, but we're working with Canadian Pacific on how they will provide service to the facility," he said.

The entire project, he said, has been "a long and detailed process" spanning more than a decade and involving securing the funding, design work, land acquisition and right-of-way and track construction.

"The next step is a servicing agreement with Canadian Pacific and construction of the facility, and we're open for business," he said.