By MATTHEW WEAVER
ROSALIA, Wash. -- The sun shone brightly off the new silver metal of the grain bins as construction crews worked on access roads into the new McCoy grain terminal.
"It's so shiny you can't even look at it," said Jerry Sloot, manager of the new terminal, located between Rosalia, Wash., and Oakesdale, Wash.
A joint venture between Cooperative Agricultural Producers, Inc., (Co-Ag) and Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative, the roughly $17 million facility is state-of-the-art, with touch-screen controls for its automated grain handling system, he said.
The grain terminal is tentatively slated to conduct loading tests in mid-August and to load grains in September.
The facility will load 110-car shuttles, the industry standard, in 10 hours, Sloot said.
The facility holds 1.4 million bushels of wheat and will likely primarily handle soft white wheat.
The facility has three 378,000-bushel flat-bottom tanks and three 55,000-bushel hopper bottom tanks, with the possibility of expansion.
The facility receives grain at 40,000 bushels per hour and ships grain at 60,000 bushels per hour, Sloot said.
McCoy Grain Terminal LLC has three full-time employees on-site, three in Colfax, Wash., and several part-time employees to assist on days when shuttles are loaded, Sloot said.
The work remaining includes hooking up equipment and minor electrical work, hooking up dust systems, completing roadwork for truck access and work on track to the terminal. About 5,000 feet of 12,000 feet of rail has been laid, and Sloot anticipates it will be complete by the end of August or the first week of September.
The facility's access point off the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railway mainline begins at Marshall, Wash., roughly 30 miles away.
Bridges on the state-owned P&L rail line need to be repaired or replaced to hold the larger hopper cars, which weigh 286,000 pounds loaded, said Co-Ag representative Jackie Tee, who has overseen the terminal project.
The Washington Department of Commerce is funding the repair of eight of the bridges this summer, Tee said. The state Department of Transportation is overseeing the funds.
There are 15 remaining bridges, four in need of repairs and 11 that need to be replaced, Tee said.
The companies applied for federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, and is awaiting word. Tee is hopeful, but notes there's not enough money for every application.