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Environmental statement filed for Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal

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PRESS RELEASE The final waiting period has begun for the Final Environmental Impact Statement paperwork required for the Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal in Detroit, Crain's Detroit Business reports. The terminal project, between Wyoming and Livernois avenues south of I-94, has a $445-million price tag in 2006 dollars (for the preferred alternative) and is designed to consolidate train and trucking infrastructure.

MDOT has reached a deal
with CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific and Canadian
National Railroad to jointly develop the project.

"The study has centered on
stimulating economic revitalization in southeast Michigan by improving rail
freight transportation opportunities and efficiencies at a consolidated
terminal in southwest Detroit," MDOT said.

The completion of the final
environmental impact requirements was announced by the Michigan Department of
Transportation. There is now a 49-day waiting period for the Federal Highway
Administration to issue a record of decision on the statement. After that,
design, right-of-way acquisition and construction can begin, if funding is

"This is a significant
accomplishment in that it represents the largest public/private venture in
Michigan history, with the railroads agreeing to pay a large share of the
costs," MDOT State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said in a statement.

No public/private
partnership legislation is needed to make the project happen, MDOT said. The
agency did not break down costs or outline the public-private split. The state
estimates the project will create almost 2,400 permanent jobs in Detroit and
300 construction jobs over a 10-year period.

CSXT and Norfolk Southern
will expand intermodal rail operations at the site, and Norfolk Southern will
move some operations there. Canadian National has decided not to shift (or
expand) its Moterm Terminal operation near the state fairgrounds to the
Livernois-Junction Yard.

The consolidated terminal
will accommodate existing and future demands, while supporting the needs of
residential neighborhoods and businesses in the area, MDOT said.

MDOT also said it’s waiting
for a funding decision from the U.S. Department of Transportation on a
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant application for
the DIFT project. That money would cover some of the paving costs.

The DIFT project officially
began in 2001.

The impact statement can be
viewed and commented up at Michigan.gov/mdotstudies. Deadline for comments is
Jan. 29.

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