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Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

AWC Seeking Participants for an Ad Hoc Freight Rail Committee

Several proposed economic development projects across the state have brought to the forefront the need to address rail congestion and safety impacts in local communities. Washington is likely to experience an increase in freight volumes in the near future: more trains, longer trains, carrying potentially dangerous cargo traveling through urban areas. Accommodating economic expansion and freight mobility in urbanized areas in a manner that is safe and consistent with local quality of life is a critical issue for cities.

The Ad Hoc Freight Rail Committee will represent cities across the state impacted by increased rail traffic. As Congress develops MAP-21 re-authorization legislation, the committee will coordinate with state and local agencies, Washington’s congressional delegation, and other stakeholders to request funding and authority for improvements along rail freight corridors. These improvements would include grade separations and other safety measures.

Councilmember Paul Roberts of Everett and Mayor David Condon of Spokane will serve as co-chairs of the committee. The committee will meet for the first time at the AWC Conference in June in Spokane and will meet by conference call through the summer and early fall to develop a proposal to present to Washington’s congressional delegation.

Committee members will be selected by the AWC Board President and will represent cities impacted by increased rail traffic across the state. If you have an interest in being involved in this effort, please send an email to Alison Hellberg (alisonh@awcnet.org) by Wednesday, May 21 telling your city’s story. We’re interested in hearing briefly how rail traffic impacts your city, what efforts your city has made to address these impacts, and what obstacles your city has encounters in addressing the impacts.

Categories: Transportation