Friday, September 23, 2016

UPDATE: Great Lakes Basin Railroad releases new route proposal



By Sabrina Bennett

Posted: Thu 1:24 PM, Sep 22, 2016  | 

Updated: Thu 11:40 PM, Sep 22, 2016

UPDATE: WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) – The Great Lakes Basin Railroad plan is changing its path.

The controversial Great Lakes Basin Railroad project is taking a new turn after developers release a new route that avoids Boone County.

Boone County residents can breathe a little easier knowing their property won’t be affected by the GLB Railroad project. Instead, it will now affect farmers on the west side of Rockford, including the only two dairy farmers left in Rockford township.

Developers behind the controversial project submitted a new 260 mile route to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that would run along the west side of Rockford instead of Boone County. The rail line aims to bypass Chicago moving Cargo from Northeastern Indiana to Southern Wisconsin.
The rail line would come within 100 feet of the Wakeley’s dairy farm in west Rockford which will virtually put them out of business. The rail line will also affect another dairy farmer nearby going through 5 of his fields totaling about 400 acres.

“It’s really sad because it’s not just my husband and I or the neighbor. This area, there's actually, we have a younger generation that wants to come back and farm and that opportunity may be taken away from them because of this,” says Tammy Wakeley.

Jim Wilson, the Vice Chairman of Great Lakes Basin Transportation says it’s up to the Surface Transportation Board to decide on open comment and scoping sessions.

The farmers found out about the new proposed route Thursday when the route was announced. Both famers say they feel that they have not been given the opportunity to voice their concerns, so they are working to reach out to the Surface Transportation Board and they will go from there.


Updated: September 22, 2016

STATELINE, Ill./Wis. (WIFR) – The railroad that has plans to bypass Chicago’s busy rail lines by passing through the Stateline has released a new route proposal.

The new proposed route released by Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) would pass through Rock, Winnebago, Ogle, and Lee Counties but does not go through Boone County as other previous versions did. This comes after multiple Boone County residents expressed their concerns at public meetings earlier this year about the rail line being built in some of their backyards.

To see a map of the new proposed route, please click on the attached related link.

This is a developing story and we will continue to update you as we learn more.

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