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Friday, January 25, 2013    

Virginia transportation officials schedule public meeting to address high-speed rail plan


Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials will host a meeting Feb. 26 to educate the public about revisions that would affect Chesterfield County as part of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) project.

The revisions would affect proposed bridges and underpasses, rail crossing closures and other road work in the county, according to a VDOT press release.

The revisions were developed through the corridor in response to public comments at hearings in 2010 on a Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the SEHSR's segment from Richmond, Va., to Raleigh, N.C. The SEHSR project calls for developing 162 miles of higher-performance rail as part of an overall plan to extend higher-speed passenger-rail service from Boston to Washington, D.C., through Richmond and to Charlotte, N.C.

In May 2012, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division submitted the Tier II EIS recommendation and report to the Federal Railroad Administration. The report identifies the two states' recommendations for the preferred rail alternative for each of the 26 sections of the SEHSR corridor between Richmond and Raleigh.

In Chesterfield County, all rail alternatives would flow through the same alignment along existing right of way. The preferred alternatives and associated road work will be presented in an upcoming Tier II Final EIS, which is expected to be published early this year, VDOT officials said.

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