Public input sought on west bank railroad relocation proposal - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Public input sought on west bank railroad relocation proposal

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) -

West Bank residents are invited to share their opinions regarding a controversial proposal to reroute 13 miles of railroad, in Gretna and along Louisiana 23, to the Harvey industrial corridor.

The Federal Railroad Administration, along with members of the Regional Planning Commission, will host an open house on Sept. 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mel Ott Multipurpose Center in Gretna.

Local public officials called for relocating the New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railway tracks during the debate over a proposed coal export terminal in the Myrtle Grove area of Plaquemines Parish.

Some opponents argue train traffic is expected to increase, because the plant will be processing 6 million tons of coal annual for export to Europe and Asia. 

Also, Gretna and Terrytown residents have long been concerned about the possibility of trains blocking first responders' access in an emergency.

New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railway executives have estimated the cost to move the tracks to the Peters Road corridor in Harvey at $350 million. 

Although the company would bear the expense of rerouting the tracks, Louisiana state government has earmarked $6 million to assist with the relocation.

As our partners at NOLA.com have reported, HDR Engineering was chosen last year to conduct an environmental study on the issue.

The $740,000 project is being paid for with $640,000 in federal money; the balance comes from the Regional Planning Commission and local governments.

Written comments on the proposal are being accepted through Oct. 6. 

They may be mailed to LA 23 Railway Project, P.O. Box 56845, New Orleans 70156, or emailed to LA23publicinfo@hdrinc.com

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