Mark Taylor
Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation members took part in a  bus tour of the construction site following their quarterly luncheon meeting last September..
John Hovland, director of marketing and facility development, served as one of the tour guides.
Hovland said the initial construction calls for 48,000 feet of track, 1,810 truck parking spaces, and 4,300 container stacking spots.
That will provide capacity for about 500,000 lifts.
“A lift is taking a container and putting it on a rail car, or taking a container and taking it off of a rail car,” Hovland said.
The Edgerton intermodal – which will replace a smaller facility in Argentine — will be one of two in the country with electric lifting capability.
The facility will use state-of-the-art electric cranes that measure 253 feet wide.
Backup power will be in place in the event of an outage.
“There will be a redundant (electrical) feed,” Hovland said.  “There will be feeds from two different transmission stations. When done right, you won’t even know the power went out on the first feed.”
The cranes can complete a lift in about a minute and a half.
Truck drivers can be in and out of the facility in 25 minutes.
“A lot of facilities take an hour or more,” Hovland said.
With initial grading and construction work underway at the complex, the first building on the site is starting to take shape.
A hostler truck and maintenance building is visible on the east side of the development.
Hovland said the Allen Group, developer of the logistics park portion of the development, is also looking into repurposing a historic stone house on the intermodal property.
“The Allen Group is looking into getting permits to occupy the house and using it as a sales center for the logistics park,” he said.
The intermodal logistics park is expected to be open for business in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Construction on a new “divergent diamond” interchange to serve the development is expected to begin early next year.
Construction work on the interchange —  located at Interstate 35 and Homestead Road – is expected to get underway this spring.
KDOT selected the Homestead location after studying other alternatives based on its location between existing interchanges at Gardner and Sunflower roads, because it created the least impact on the surrounding areas, and because it was the least expensive option.
The state will fund the construction.
Daily traffic counts on I-35 between Gardner and Sunflower roads is currently estimated at 25,000 vehicles per day.
By 2040, that number is estimated to reach 64,000 vehicles per day.
The intermodal logistics park is expected to generate more than 17,000 vehicle trips per day, including 7,000 commercial trucks.
County commissioners were told in February that construction bids for road improvements serving the intermodal came in below estimates.
Hannes Zacharias, county manager, said bids were opened by the Kansas Department of Transportation in January.
The bids for the county’s share of improvements to 191st Street, Homestead Lane and a Homestead Lane interchange came in about $3.7 million below the engineer’s estimate.
Clarkson Construction Company was the low bidder.
“KDOT is working to finalize the contract with Clarkson,” Zacharias said. “Clarkson is expected to start construction on the projects this spring and planned to be completed by the end of the 2013 construction season.”
The county agreed in 2009 to contribute $14 million toward the project.
The bids for each project follow. The engineer’s estimate is in parenthesis.
Improvements to 191st Street from Four Corners Road to Waverly Road: $4.7 million ($7.2 million).
Improvements to Homestead Lane from 191st to 199th streets: $6 million ($6.6 million).
Homestead Road interchange at Interstate 35: $21.3 million ($23.9 million).
The Allen Group, developer of the logistics park, has identified its first warehouse tenant for the development.
The DeLong Co., an exporter of containerized grain, closed on the purchase of an 8.7 acre site last year.