(Atlantic) As reported yesterday the Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, has scheduled in-person public hearings and online, self-directed meetings for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study. And the Iowa Interstate Railway line that runs through Atlantic is part of that study.
“Yes, Atlantic is one of four options that the DOT’s in Illinois and Iowa are evaluating to consider for the high speed passenger rail line,” stated Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris.
“The study looks at safety aspects and other environmental impacts that route might create and the public hearing gives people a chance to talk about that, and I think safety is a big one, but they will look at pollution and other issues as well,” Harris said.
“I do think the Iowa Interstate Rail line that passes through Atlantic is still a very viable option; in fact they asked whether Atlantic’s Depot could be used as a passenger station if Atlantic and the Iowa Interstate Railroad were selected. So I think that indicates that there is some real interest on the part of the study committee.”
Each public hearing and online meeting will contain the same presented information, so individuals can attend in-person at the public hearing, or view and comment at the online meeting. We encourage all those interested to participate. The public hearings will be conducted the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4 and 5:30 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7 p.m.
A public hearing will be held in Council Bluffs on Thursday, December 13, at the Council Bluffs Public Library, at 400 Willow Avenue, Conference Room A/B from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Updated: November 28, 2012