Glacier Rail Park officially open for business

by MTN News, Nicole Miller

KALISPELL – A rail-served industrial park under construction on the northeast edge in the City of Kalispell is now open for business.

It’s a moment in the City of Kalispell that has been building up for decades and one that will transform the city for decades to come. The driving of golden spikes makes it official – the Glacier Rail Park is now open for business.

The industrial park will make access easy and safer for farmers taking their products to market who can now avoid downtown to get to the elevator.

“It’s going to be more jobs to the region, it’s going to be safer because we are going to be able to do some things with the rails to make the community safer and its really going to transform the whole community and allow it to grow in a 21st century way,” Sen. Jon Tester said.

“Now it means we’ve done this look at this it’s going to be fabulous businesses are going to love to be here and now the next thing is we can take those tracks out of downtown Kalispell.,” added Montana West Economic Development Development Director Kim Morisaki.

The second phase of the $21 million project is likely to begin in spring of 2020. But it wouldn’t be possible without city leaders taking their vision of transformation for the city to Washington D.C. alongside Senator Tester to secure a $10 million (TIGER) grant from the US Department of Transportation.

“I can’t give enough kudos on the ground here in the Flathead who worked together and stuck with it and no matter what barrier they came up against, they knocked it down and kept going forward we just helped them at the federal level to get that done,” Sen. Tester said.

A farmer himself, Sen. Tester says its also one of the reasons he fought hard for the project.

A fertilizer plant and loading facility are still in the process of being built at the site. Additional new development in the Kalispell Core Area is expected once the rail is removed and the new trail system is constructed.