By The Associated Press

A project to build a massive rail yard 40 miles north of Tucson near scenic Picacho Peak is gaining momentum.

The Arizona Republic reports that Union Pacific Corp. has asked the state to act on its 6-year-old application to build a rail yard six miles long and wide enough to accommodate up to 74 tracks.

Union Pacific first identified the site based on growth in shipments it handled from Asia via the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.

Opponents say the rail yard would add air and noise pollution, damage the water table and blight the views of and from Picacho Peak State Park.

County officials say the facility will create needed jobs.

For now, the site is farm land.