The Minnesota Department of Transportation is hosting two open houses and one webinar in December to solicit public comment on the recently completed Draft Alternatives Selection Report for the proposed Twin Cities to Milwaukee section of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail corridor to Chicago.
The public information meetings and webinar will be held:
• Monday, Dec. 12 — 5 to 7 p.m., at the Stillwater Public Library, 224 Third St. N., Stillwater, Minn.
• Tuesday Dec. 13 — 5 to 7 p.m., at the Winona County History Center, 160 Johnson St., Winona, Minn.
• Wednesday, Dec. 14 — 5 to 7 p.m., Webinar:
Take part in the call in webinar through http://mndot.adobeconnect.com/mwrriphase7-webinar12142011/; conference call-in number – 1-800-591-2259; participant code – 697770.
MnDOT representatives will be available at the open houses and webinar to answer questions. There will be a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.
The Federal Railroad Administration approved the recommendation in the Draft Alternatives Selection Report, which describes the methodology and analysis that was conducted to identify ‘reasonable and feasible passenger rail alternative(s)’.
The report identifies one route, (Route 1; the existing Amtrak route from: Milwaukee-Watertown-Portage-Tomah-La Crosse-Winona-Hastings-St. Paul-Minneapolis) as the most reasonable and feasible passenger rail alternative.
The route provides an opportunity to incrementally use a reduction in travel time and increase train frequency by phasing the build-out of the route, according to the report. This phased approach recognizes the constraints associated with funding requirements for major infrastructure improvements and is consistent with the Minnesota Statewide Rail Plan.
Public comment will be taken at the open houses, webinar, and through MnDOT’s website at www.dot.state.mn.us/passengerrail/mwrri/phase7.html beginning Dec. 12.
The public also may submit comments from Dec. 12, 2011 to Jan. 12, 2012 by email to [email protected]. Fax comments to 651-366-4248, or leave a recorded phone message ar 651-366-3199.
Mail comments to Minnesota Department of Transportation; Passenger Rail Office; Mail Stop 480; 395 John Ireland Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul – Chicago corridor program is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, which seeks to create a network of high-speed passenger rail corridors in the Midwest to provide business and leisure travelers with shorter travel times, additional train frequencies and connections between urban centers and smaller communities. For more information about the MWRRI, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/passengerrail/mwrri/index.html.
To request an ASL interpreter or other reasonable accommodation for either open house, call Janet Miller at 651-366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota); 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). You may also send an e-mail to [email protected]. (Please request at least one week in advance).