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UP's rail-classification yard moves forward in Ariz.

Negotiations regarding the sale of state trust land in Pinal County for the construction of a Union Pacific rail classification yard has progressed with the recent hiring of consultants.

The Arizona State Land Department has hired RBF, a national planning, design and construction firm, to examine the technical issues surrounding the Red Rock project Union Pacific also hired an outside firm to assist with the analysis.

“We are happy that this phase of the proposed project is moving forward,” Vanessa Hickman, land department commissioner, said in a statement.

“We are confident that the expertise of the parties involved will lead to a full understanding of the issues being studied.”

Last February, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors asked Gov. Jan Brewer to have the State Land Department auction the land — 950 acres of state trust land just north of Red Rock near Interstate 10 — within the next six months.

The board has pushed for the land sale because it believes the yard will bring jobs to Pinal County.

Supervisor Pete Rios of Dudleyville told the Maricopa Monitor via email last March the project would be a much-needed economic boost for the county.

“Ancillary and supporting companies in the area would create thousands of additional full-time jobs, millions of dollars in wages and taxes,” he said.

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