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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Louisiana DOT seeks more public input on rail-crossing project


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has extended a public comment period through Jan. 31 for a proposed rail-crossing improvement project on a Kansas City Southern line in Baton Rouge.

The extension follows information presented at a Nov. 6 public hearing on the proposed project, which involves modifying 10 KCS crossings and closing six others in Baton Rouge, according to local media reports.

"We have heard the concerns of local residents and their elected officials," said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson in a press release. "We're working with our governmental partners and KCS to be more collaborative and sensitive to the community impact that this proposal will have."

In February 2016, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded a $1.1 million grant to the department to make changes to the crossings. The original proposal called for a combination of crossing upgrades and closings along a 1.5-mile stretch.

The comment extension will give the public more time to be informed about the proposal, department officials said. In addition, the department is launching a public outreach effort to solicit more comments about the project.

"As part of our accountability to our stakeholders, this input will be invaluable in how we reconsider the plans for this project," said Wilson.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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