WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – An inland port will soon make its way to Southwest Virginia.

The Virginia General Assembly passed its state budget during a special session this week. The budget included $10 million for the design of an inland port in the Mount Rogers Planning District.

An inland port is a landlocked transfer station where shipping containers are routed to destinations around the country.

The state has narrowed down the possible locations in Southwest Virginia down to two sites. The sites are Washington County and Wythe County, just east of Smyth County.

Washington County Administrator Jason Berry said that an inland port would transform the county. Over a thousand jobs would be created because of the port.

“What it means is 1,300 jobs in Washington County,” Berry said. “Over 600 directly working at the port and another 600 that are indirect, but supporting an inland port operation.”

If awarded the inland port, Berry said that it would it would go in the Oak Park area. He said that area has all of the infrastructure needed for an inland port.

“It has an old rail spur to be re-established,” Berry said. “We have natural gas water, sewer, graded pad.”

Virginia state Sen. Todd Pillion released a statement following the special session in Virginia.

“While this is a huge leap forward, the work is far from over, and I look forward to advancing this project as we also prepare for the upcoming 2024 legislative session.”

Virginia State Sen. Todd Pillion (R-Bristol)

Berry said that a study shows that over a 20-year period, the site would provide nearly a $2 billion impact to the area.

“This is going to bring new jobs and industry to the region,” Berry said. “There will be factories that want to locate either in our county or adjacent counties because they want to put their project on rail.”

Berry said that Washington County should learn if it’s the site of the inland port by the end of the year.