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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MinnDOT) has scheduled three public information meetings and is soliciting public input on a draft scoping decision document related to the environmental impact consideration of potential alternatives for the Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan (Zip Rail).To be held next week, the meetings will review information in the draft scoping decision documents that are part of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) now being prepared by MinnDOT in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority.The document, now available for public review and comment, describes the purpose and need for development of high-speed rail service between Rochester and the Twin Cities, and also provides information on alternatives that will be included in the Tier I EIS, MinnDOT officials said in a press release.The Zip Rail study area is a 100-mile corridor that includes Dakota, Dodge, Goodhue, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey and Rice counties, and various end points in the Twin Cities and Rochester areas. Currently, there is no continuous existing railroad connection between the Twin Cities and Rochester, so many of the potential corridors would create new transportation routes, MinnDOT officials said.The meetings will be held July 29, 30 and 31. The scoping booklet and draft scoping decision document can be read here.
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