Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 18, 2014

State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

VALDOSTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

On Thursday night, GDOT officials held a meeting at the Valdosta City Hall Annex, talking with the gathered crowd about their vision for the rail plan and asking for public input.

Essentially a roadmap of improvements for Georgia’s rail system through the next 20-30 years, the rail plan will have several goals: enhancing safety and security, providing a reliable passenger rail system, developing an energy efficient and environmentally sustainable rail system, preserving and improving existing infrastructure, enhancing economic development and competitiveness and promoting and expanding intermodal connectivity between lines.

“It’s a forward-looking and forward-thinking plan,” said Justin Fox with CDM Smith.

Over the next few months, GDOT and CDM Smith, a consulting firm, will profile existing rail operations in the state, identifying needs, opportunities, passenger rail improvements and freight rail improvements. After developing a set of projects, the GDOT will hold a second round of public meetings in August before solidifying everything in the fall.

For those who missed the meeting, the full presentation is available online at http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/rail/Pages/StateRailPlan.aspx along with a survey for Georgia residents about the Georgia rail system.

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