Saturday, September 3, 2016

Great Lakes Basis RR



Chicago rail bypass alternatives will be revealed later this month

Federal regulators have given the company that wants to build a 278-mile freight rail bypass around Chicago until Sept. 20 to come up with route alternatives.

The Office of Environmental Analysis of the federal Surface Transportation Board granted the extension to Great Lakes Basin Transportation after it made a last-minute request for an extension on Monday, the original deadline for submitting the route alternatives.

Under Great Lakes Basin Transportation’s original proposal, the double-tracked freight line would run from southern Wisconsin into Illinois and on to Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana.

During a public comment period on the proposed rail line earlier this year, thousands of people showed up at public hearings and meetings to protest and 3,500 comments were received by the Surface Transportation Board.

Great Lakes Basin Transportation Managing Partner Frank Patton said earlier this week that his company was reviewing those comments and people will see some of their suggestions included in the new route alternatives.

Alternatives proposed during the public comment period included not building the rail line at all and one supported by Porter County Commissioners that would take it out of Porter County and put it on mostly existing railroad rights-of-way further south.


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