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San Juan County, New Mexico, officials have chosen HDR Inc. to perform a feasibility study of the proposed Four Corners freight-rail project.
If constructed, the new rail line would connect Farmington to a BNSF Railway Co. line near Gallup, about 120 miles south.
In 2020, the county signed a memorandum of understanding with the Navajo Nation to cooperate on the new rail line, which has been discussed for decades as a catalyst for attracting business and industry development in northwest New Mexico.
The feasibility study will produce an economic analysis examining freight traffic demand and other factors, as well as an alternatives analysis to identify possible routes and design options, HDR officials said in a press release.
HDR will also provide preliminary engineering, environmental review and stakeholder coordination.
"The Four Corners freight-rail project has the potential to transform the communities along its route for the better, creating valuable new opportunities for San Juan County and Navajo Nation residents," said HDR U.S. Director of Rail Planning Kevin Keller, project lead.