City approves plan to boost rail service for new Pierce County manufacturer

A proposed partnership between the City of Tacoma and the State of Washington that could help provide rail service to a manufacturing facility scheduled to open later this year in Pierce County moved forward Tuesday when Tacoma City Council approved a resolution authorizing the agreement.

According to the plan, the so-called Carlisle Spur Track project would cost $265,000 and facilitate rail service in and out of the $38 million Carlisle Construction Materials manufacturing plant being built on 42 acres of the Randles Business Park in Frederickson. Gov. Chris Gregoire would direct $100,000 from a strategic fund toward the project, the City of Tacoma’s rail mountain division would provide switch materials and an in-kind contribution of $25,000, and Randles Sand and Gravel would contribute up to $140,000. City staff expect the new rail line will generate approximately $85,000 in new annual revenue for Tacoma Rail’s mountain division.

Tacoma City Council’s government performance and finance committee was briefed on the plan last month.

Last year, Carlisle Construction Materials announced it would build the new 300,000 square foot plant, located near 196th Street and Canyon Road East. The facility will produce polysio insulation and employ between 75 and 140 people when it is completed this year. The company is based in Pennsylvania and has been a major supplier of commercial roofing systems and insulation for over 40 years. The Frederickson plant will serve the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.