2.5.17

IT BEGINS.

The Great Lakes Basin Railroad promoters have filed their application to construct and operate a railroad.  The latest plan includes construction of a private highway for trucks.
While the toll road would not follow the rail line exactly, the two routes together would form a 2,000-foot-wide corridor. The toll road would be 125 miles, with 18 intersections with major highways, though that could change, he said. Patton said the toll road as depicted on the map was "more for conceptual purposes."

The cost projected in the application for the railroad, without any contingencies, is about $3 billion, and the toll road is about $4 billion, with $1 billion in contingencies, he said.

"I think the combination of the highway and the railroad would be an economic powerhouse that could compete with any other place in the country," he said, adding businesses along the route would have access to both the rail line and the highway.

He expects the toll road proposal to go through a review process by the Illinois and Indiana state transportation departments that would include public hearings, and will have a more specific map in the next two to three months.
The application has Docket Number FD_35952_0.  The filing is now available for public viewing.  It's long, and I might not be able to get to it for a day or so.

I have been skeptical of this railroad project, and the filing might give me a chance to keep my economist skills active.

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