The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation have released a report recommending to the Federal Railroad Administration the preferred rail alternative for each of the 26 sections of the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor between Richmond, Va., and Raleigh.
The report alternatives are based on considerations concerning the human and natural environment, costs and operability/constructability. Also considered were the public, local government and agency comments received following the May 2010 publication of the SEHSR Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Richmond to Raleigh portion of the SEHSR. Eight public hearings were held in July 2010 to provide information on the alternatives and obtain public input, and several alternatives have been redesigned based on comments received from the public.
Once approved by FRA, the preferred alternatives will be presented in the forthcoming Tier II Final Environmental Impact Statement, anticipated to be published in early 2013, followed by a Record of Decision from the FRA and a second round of public hearings.
The SEHSR project proposes to implement approximately 162 miles of high speed rail as part of an overall plan to extend high speed passenger rail service from the Northeast Corridor (Boston, Mass., to Washington, D.C.) southward through Virginia to Charlotte and Florida.
The Recommendation Report is available for download on the project website.