Port Awaits Permission to Further Study Feasibility of Rail Route Through Air Force Property
By Port Canaveral // December 19, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) is awaiting response to its request for follow-up access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to complete a feasibility study to determine if a route through Air Force property can be added to the federal environmental review of the Port’s rail project.
Last month, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) granted the Port Authority’s request to pause the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process to allow the Port to evaluate the feasibility of a Cape Canaveral Air Force Station freight rail alignment.
Pending the outcome of the Port’s feasibility analysis, the STB may consider including the Air Force route as one of the routes to be studied in the EIS.
“The Port Authority initiated talks with the Air Force in 2012 regarding the possibility of rail connection through Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” said Jim Dubea, Port Canaveral’s Deputy Director of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships.
“Our meeting with Pentagon officials last month was fruitful and one step closer to resolving the question of whether a viable route exists.”
Once the CPA completes further evaluation of the Air Force route, it will request the STB to resume the environmental review process of all routes identified as potentially feasible.
Currently, the routes include an alignment through Kennedy Space Center and one that parallels State Road 528.
After the STB has issued its final scope of study, determining which routes will move forward with an extensive environmental review, it will then prepare a draft EIS. At that time, there will be public opportunities for comment regarding the draft EIS and the various routes. The Port Authority Commission will make no final decision on whether to proceed with rail until the completion of the STB process.
For updated information on the rail extension project, visit the STB project website www.portcanaveralraileis.com.