Recognizing the economic benefits of expanded rail access in Mesa, Rep. Greg Stanton is working with the City of Mesa to secure federal funding for its Pecos Industrialized Rail Access Train Extension (PIRATE) project. Mesa applied for a $24.4 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to construct a new six-mile industrial freight rail track from the existing Union Pacific Railroad mainline through the Pecos Advanced Manufacturing Zone.

Stanton led a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao advocating for the funds, co-led by Rep. Andy Biggs and supported by nearly the entire Arizona delegation. “In order to maintain its impressive growth, we must improve Mesa’s infrastructure,” the letter said. “Investment now will likely pay enormous dividends not merely for the Phoenix metropolitan area, but for the entire state of Arizona and the nation as a whole.”

Stanton, the only Arizona member to serve on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, also advocated for the project in discussions with high-level Department of Transportation officials.

The proposed track would run through nearly 5,000 acres of agricultural and industrial land, serving the transportation and logistics needs of existing manufacturing and industrial businesses like Bridgestone and Fujifilm and stimulating competitive advantages for new businesses looking to relocate to the area. Modest predictions suggest that the project could create at least 16,000 new jobs and more than $16 billion in economic output by 2030.

Grants are expected to be awarded in mid-September.