Des Moines Transload Facility receives $11.2 million BUILD grant

The U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday announced an $11.2 million BUILD Transportation Grant for the Des Moines Transload Facility.

A transload facility serves to transfer raw goods from trucks to trains, which can ship goods at a lower cost. The Des Moines Transload Facility is uniquely situated at a site in southeast Des Moines with access to three Class 1 railroads that span the country, as well as the regional Iowa Interstate Railroad. This location also allows for connections to the Interstate road system. The Des Moines Transload Facility is projected to lower shipping costs for businesses within a 150-mile radius of the capital city.

Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers said the Des Moines Transload Facility has long been a priority of The Partnership and the regional business community.

 “The Des Moines Transload Facility will increase our region’s global trade connectivity by strengthening the connection between the regional trucking network and the national rail freight network,” Byers said. “The Transload Facility builds on the goals of our Global DSM: Trade and Investment Strategy to help the region tap into the global marketplace.” 

Without the grant, the Des Moines Transload Facility likely would have been built in phases over several years. Now, with funding for the entire $15.6 million project, the transload facility is anticipated to open and be fully operational in 2019. The Des Moines Area MPO is in the process of selecting an operator; a recommendation is expected in January.

“The grant is hugely significant,” MPO Executive Director Todd Ashby said. “The funding will accelerate the timeline for building the facility – bringing the full economic impact to the region much sooner.”

West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer, Chair of the MPO, said the MPO has been fostering this project for more than five years, and he credited a broad coalition of partners for pushing the project into being.

“We’re very proud of the MPO staff for nurturing this game-changing project for so long, as well as for all the champions of this vision,” he said. “We are incredibly grateful to our partners on the project, including the City of Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the MPO Freight Roundtable. And I want to extend our deepest appreciation to our congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.”

Des Moines City Council Ward 4 representative Joe Gatto, Vice Chair of MPO, said the Des Moines Transload Facility is anticipated to be an economic development catalyst.

“We expect this project to appeal to a wide range of businesses,” Councilman Gatto said. “It’s part of the city’s larger vision to improve the business climate in the southeast Agribusiness Park.”

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) acts as a regional forum to ensure coordination between the public and local, state, and federal agencies in regard to planning issues and to prepare transportation plans and programs. The MPO develops both long- and short-range multimodal transportation plans, selects and approves projects for federal funding based upon regional priorities, and develops methods to reduce traffic congestion.

The City of Des Moines isIowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 215,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit, Facebook and Twitter @DesMoinesGov for more information.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,400 Regional Business Members and more than 340 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at