Public input period extended for Baton Rouge railroad crossings project

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced Monday an extension to the public comment period for a proposed railroad crossings rehabilitation project in Baton Rouge.

The project involves railroad crossings along the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railroad in Baton Rouge. The public comment period is being extended to January 31, 2018. This will give DOTD an opportunity to reconsider some plans that were presented at a public meeting on November 6.

In order to gather more information and to give the public more details about the project, DOTD is launching a new public outreach effort for the communities near the railroad crossings in the proposed project. This effort will engage elected officials, community leaders, the clergy, and residents in several small listening sessions and tours in the impacted areas.

"We have heard the concerns of local residents and their elected officials. We're working with our governmental partners and KCS to be more collaborative and sensitive to the community impact that this proposal will have," said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D.

Back in February of 2016, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded DOTD a $1.1 million grant to make changes to some railroad crossings in the city. The original proposal called for a combination of upgrades and closures to crossings along a stretch of about one and a half miles of the railroad.

"The input we receive from our local communities is extremely important. As part of our accountability to our stakeholders, this input will be invaluable in how we reconsider the plans for this project," said Wilson.

Comment cards can be downloaded from the project's website here. Filled out cards can be returned via mail to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Environmental Engineering Administrator, Sec. 28, P.O. Box 94245, Baton Rouge, LA 70804 or faxed to 222-242-4500.

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