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    Public meetings scheduled for Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program

    Contact: Janet Foran, MDOT Communications,
     foranj@michigan.gov
    517-335-7176
    Agency: Transportation

    Fast Facts:
    - Departments of transportation in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana are hosting a series of public meetings to help prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor.
    - The EIS will help evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 304-mile corridor in three states.
    - Public comments must be received by Oct. 15 and can be submitted in multiple ways.
    - Check the website for more details: 
    www.GreatLakesRail.org.

    September 5, 2012 --
    The departments of transportation for Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, in association with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are announcing a series of public meetings for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will be prepared for the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program. The meetings are being held to:

    - Introduce the public to the program,
    - Discuss the purpose and need for improvements,
    - Present a range of possible route alternatives, and
    - Identify potential issues that should be considered in the EIS.

    The EIS is being prepared to evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 304-mile rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, Mich. The EIS will evaluate the effects of upgrading rail infrastructure and facilities to safely accommodate potential passenger rail service improvements. Effects on the natural environment, jobs, the economy, air quality, traffic, and neighborhoods will be considered. MDOT and its state and federal partners are seeking input from all members of the public, government agencies and tribes. Staff will be available to answer questions at four upcoming meetings. Exhibits and other reference materials will be on display and presentations made.

    All comments must be received by Oct. 15 to be included in this step of the EIS process. Multiple options for submitting comments are available including:

    - Fill out a comment form at a public meeting,
    - Use the online comment form at www.GreatLakesRail.org,
    - Dial the toll-free number at 877- 351-0853, and
    - Mail your written comments to Bob Parsons, MDOT, P.O. Box 30050, Lansing, MI 48909.

    Public meetings will be held in each of the three states and will be open to the public between 4 and 7 p.m. A presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m. The same information will be presented at each meeting.

    Illinois

    Wednesday, Sept. 12, 4 to 7 p.m. CDT
    Chicago Union Station in the Union Gallery Room (off the Great Hall)
    500 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago

    Indiana

    Thursday, Sept. 13, 4 to 7 p.m. CDT
    Michigan City - City Hall
    100 East Michigan Blvd., Michigan City

    Michigan

    Wednesday, Sept. 26, 4 to 7 p.m. EDT
    Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
    5801 Southfield Expressway, Dearborn

    Thursday, Sept. 27, 4 to 7 p.m. EDT
    Radisson Plaza Hotel
    100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo.
    (Parking validation will be provided for the Radisson parking garage.)

    An online public meeting also will be provided where the public can conveniently view all meeting information. This self-guided meeting will be available at www.GreatLakesRail.org starting Friday, Sept. 7, 2012.

    Information about the program and how to participate can be found at the project website: www.GreatLakesRail.org. Sign up for program e-mail updates on the website or call toll-free at 877-351-0853.

    With advance notice of seven days, MDOT can make accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English-speaking ability, and persons needing auxiliary aids or services of interpreters, signers, readers, or large print. To request accommodations in any of the three states, call Bob Parsons directly at 517-373-9534 or toll free at 877-351-0853.

    MDOT: Working with our partners at airports, bus systems, marine and rail to find innovative solutions for Michigan's transportation systems.

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