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Rail News: CSX Transportation
FHWA, DDOT set second public meeting on final Virginia Avenue Tunnel environmental report
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) plan to hold a second public meeting on July 31 to review the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C.
Owned and maintained by CSX Transportation, the 4,000-foot, single-track tunnel is located in southeast D.C. beneath the eastbound lanes of Virginia Avenue. CSX plans to reconstruct and rehabilitate the 110-year-old tunnel — including the addition of a second set of tracks — to accommodate double-stack trains and eliminate a chokepoint caused by the single track.
Released last month, the FEIS incorporates community feedback and identifies two new tunnels as the project's preferred alternative. The option best meets the project’s purpose and need, addresses community concerns about trains moving through an open trench during construction and minimizes impacts to nearby residents, according to the FHWA and DDOT. The alternative also has the shortest estimated construction timeframe at about 30 to 42 months.
The second public meeting will include a presentation pertaining to input provided by residents at the first meeting held on July 1. The FEIS will be available for public review for 30 days before an official decision is rendered on the project. Depending on the decision, CSX is expected to share additional information about work timing and other project specifics, according to the FHWA and DDOT.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.