Weirton, W. Va. (WTRF) – The waters at the Weirton Port were still for more than 20 years—until this summer.

Now barges are moving in and bringing business back to what was once a vacant lot.

The new development is due to the efforts of the Frontier Group of Companies, who bought the old Arcelor-Mittal property five years ago.

And they have big plans to turn Weirton into an economic powerhouse for the entire nation.

They’re working on a 500-acre industrial park, and plan to eventually fleet over 75 barges.

Those will bring in materials like sand, gravel and steel products, which will then be driven to the companies that need them.

Frontier and its partners call this method of moving materials safe and efficient, and they say it won’t break the bank for companies looking to grow.

Barges connect the Ohio Valley to the world, and the world to the Ohio Valley. And the more touchpoints you have in the Ohio Valley to the river, the better chance you have for industrial and manufacturing development.

Brad Busatto, President of Industry Terminal & Salvage

We have one of the largest river ports in the state of West Virginia, we have probably the largest railyard and we are immediately accessible to an international airport and highways.

Pat Ford, Director of Business Development, Frontier Group of Companies

Ford says it’s no wonder that international companies are showing interest in the area.

It’s within one day’s drive of over two-thirds of the U.S. population, and half of the country’s industrial output.

He says the next step is to build roads to make the site easier to get to from the highway.

Frontier predicts all this improved access to eventually bring in 3,000 jobs.