RD678 - Virginia Inland Port Study Q4 2023 General Assembly Update – December 1, 2023

Executive Summary:

This report includes reporting requirements of Item 113.T.1., of the 2023 Appropriation Act.

This is the initial update the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) will submit in accordance with the 2022-2024 Biennial Budget (HB 6001 from the 2023 Special Session I), Item 113 T.1 and T.4, and provides a brief background on the study identifying an opportunity for a new inland port facility and next steps, for which the Commonwealth has allocated additional funds in the 2022-2024 budget to pursue further development.

In 2023 the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and VPA completed a study called the “Inland Port Study: Feasibility Analysis of Locating an Inland Port in the Commonwealth", hereinafter referred to as “Inland Port Study" which documented the evaluation of two regions within Virginia for their potential to support an inland port facility. The study then further identified a preferred site within the Oak Park Center for Business and Industry in the Mount Rogers/Bristol region.

The 2022-2024 Biennial Budget provides funding to further validate the opportunity and position the project for subsequent development. As outlined in this document, the funding will be used over the next year to perform the necessary field investigations of the site, confirm the cargo demand remains present and willing to engage, and develop a preliminary design in collaboration with key project stakeholders.

At the conclusion of the 2024 efforts, sufficient information will be available for the Virginia Port Authority and its Commonwealth partners to decide whether to move forward with the project and understand the costs and projected schedule associated with constructing the facility and initiating operations.

This first update:

• Summarizes the study efforts and findings leading to identification of the Oak Park Center for Business and Industry in the Mount Rogers/Bristol region as the preferred site (pages 2-9).

• Describes the efforts and their associated objectives for the upcoming year (through the end of calendar year 2024) (pages 10-11).

• Establishes expected progress and milestones that will be achieved in each of the quarterly updates through calendar year 2024 (pages 10-11).