Update on the Inland Port – new executive director

The Utah Inland Port Authority has a new executive director. The Salt Lake Tribune covered the change in leadership in a recent article

​In 2018, the state of Utah took control of tax revenue and land use decisions for more than 25% of Salt Lake City to facilitate the construction of an ‘inland port’ – a giant freight transfer and warehousing facility proposed for the city’s northwest side.

Photo on site of the Inland Port.

About 10,000 acres of the area are undeveloped and are part of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem, which provides habitat for over 10 million migratory birds from over 300 species. The proposed port would further harm our air quality, increase greenhouse gas emissions, create noise and light pollution, and harm critical wildlife habitat.

“Under Hedge’s three-year tenure, the port authority faced numerous controversies, including no-bid contracts, public protests and delays on major projects, such as construction of the multimillion-dollar transloading facility” they wrote of former executive director, Jack Hedge. 

The new director, Ben Hart, comes from an economic development background, previously working as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The port authority has few accomplishments to tout so far, despite shelling out millions to lease land and hire contractors. In apparent frustration over the lack of movement at the port, lawmakers restructured the board earlier this year, and new board members announced plans to conduct an audit of the port’s contracts.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City residents and environmental advocates have expressed concerns about impacts to quality of life, traffic, air pollution and the wetland ecosystem near the Great Salt Lake. The inland port covers 16,000 acres, most of them within Utah’s capital.”

Read the Tribune’s coverage here.

Click here for more about the Utah Inland Port.