GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Construction officially began Wednesday on the Great Bend Transload Facility, a project that will provide the infrastructure necessary to move goods from one mode of transportation to another. In the case of the new facility, those transfers will be from truck to rail and rail to truck.

The shipping center will be constructed west of Great Bend at the airport.

Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King said in a news release, “This is a great example of a public-private partnership that will benefit not only the city but the entire region. It creates opportunities for economic development, jobs and enhanced shipping efficiencies. “It will have great benefits for farmers and manufacturers.”King is also director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

King said Great Bend was selected for the transload facility last year by the Transload Facility Site Analysis Selection Committee, which includes public and private sector representatives. The Kansas Department of Transportation will contribute $3 million to the $6.8 million project.

The consortium that developed the proposal for the facility comprises the city of Great Bend, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (K&O), and Kansas Transload Services. Sherwood Companies of Oklahoma City will operate the facility, which is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.