Port Authority Responds To Request For Information On Potential Rail Extention Route
By Space Coast Daily // May 28, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) has responded to a request for information on an alternative rail extension route that aligns with State Road 528.
The response has been submitted to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) – the federal public agency evaluating the rail extension project.
The STB will determine how to incorporate information about the SR 528 route into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that it is preparing.
There are several environmental and recreational improvement proposals linked to the SR 528 route alternative study.
One is a joint effort between the Canaveral Port Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation that would improve water flow to the current causeway through the installation of box culverts. Another is a biking and hiking trail along the north edge of the causeway, with bridges connecting the port to Banana River Drive.
The Canaveral Port Authority initially presented two preferred routes to the STB – both utilizing an existing plant rail system that runs through the Kennedy Space Center.
The STB also is considering the feasibility of other routes proposed during the EIS scoping process.
“We were happy to provide this additional information on the SR 528 route to the STB,” said John Walsh, chief executive officer of Canaveral Port Authority.
“We want the community to know that we are listening to concerns and suggestions about the rail extension and that, working together, we can accomplish this project for the benefit of the community and our local economy, while mitigating environmental impacts.”
The extensive evaluation of the rail extension project, which the STB began last year, is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
Next, the STB will issue a final scope of study and then prepare a draft EIS. After the draft EIS is issued, the STB will schedule and conduct public meetings, as well as accept written comments.
It will incorporate those comments and responses into the final EIS. No decision on construction or operation of the rail extension will be made until after the final EIS is published.