STB Wants More Info on Chicago Bypass Project

A company seeking to build a railroad bypass around Chicago has been instructed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to provide more information about alternate routes.

STBGreat Lakes Basin Transportation was given until Aug. 29 to provide the information. The STB had extended until July 15 a public comment period regarding the proposed 278-mile freight route

If Great Lakes is unable to provide information on alternative routes, it must explain why it can’t do that.

The directive came from the STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis which is reviewing materials submitted thus far for an environmental impact study.

“In addition to the route initially proposed by an applicant when the EIS process begins, the board’s EISs typically evaluate a number of proposed potential alternative alignments and more minor route various, as well as the no-action (no-build) alternative,” wrote OEA Director Victoria Rutson.

Great Lakes has indicated that it will provided the requested information.

Public hearings have been held in three states and the STB has received more than 3,500 comments about the proposed route that would begin in Northwest Indiana and end in Southern Wisconsin.

The bypass is being proposed as a means to alleviate rail congestion in Chicago.

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