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STOCKTON — By the end of the year, Union Pacific will be fabricating steel rails longer than four football fields at an $18 million welding facility the Stockton Port Commission approved in February.
“It’s a great project,” said Port Commissioner Michael Duffy. “We have 37 acres uniquely suited for rail.”
Duffy said 480-foot-long rails will be brought to the Port from Japan. It will take eight to 10 days to unload using a crane with three arms. Then the rails will be taken to the Union Pacific facility where they’ll be welded into 1,440-foot lengths and then shipped throughout the country on specialized rail cars.
According to Duffy the Port of Stockton, with its maritime, manufacturing and rail components offered what Union Pacific was looking for.
“Most places don’t have the same kind of setup,” Duffy said. “We have the whole package right here.”
The project will employ 10 full-time welders who will make $50,000 a year, Duffy said. It will also require about 30 longshoremen. The construction phase of the project will employ between 75 and 100 workers. Duffy said it would add about $250,000 to the tax base annually.