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SIKESTON – The Missouri Department of Transportation is seeking public input on the future movement of goods and people in Missouri by rail at a public open house meeting in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Osage Center located at 1625 North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The purpose of the meeting is to gather public input on the development of MoDOT’s Statewide Rail Plan. The plan will serve as the strategic framework for the development of both freight and passenger rail service in Missouri for the next 20 years, so it is vital we hear from Missourians to incorporate their needs into this process.
A Statewide Rail Plan is necessary for Missouri to pursue critical federal funds for planning and constructing rail projects and prioritize investments that will enhance the movement of people and goods, expand connections between all modes of transportation and support long-term economic growth in Missouri.
In addition to the open house meeting, MoDOT is hosting an online public meeting from Oct. 18 through November 18 at www.morail.org. This online meeting will give those unable to personally attend public open houses a chance to learn about freight and passenger rail in Missouri, ask questions and provide input.
As work on the plan begins, the public is being asked to comment on the following:
• The current rail system’s ability to serve Missouri’s businesses in moving raw materials and finished products.
• The state’s interest in and potential ridership of intercity passenger rail.
• The role of publically funded improvements to move people and goods on privately-owned railroad systems.
• The importance of investing in different types of rail projects compared to other infrastructure needs, given likely funding limitations.
The public is encouraged to join the open house or online meeting to review project information, ask questions and discuss the plan with MoDOT representatives. At the open house meeting, a presentation will be given at 6 p.m. All public meeting sites are wheel-chair accessible. The information presented at the open house meetings will also be included as part of the online public meeting.
For more information, see http://www.morail.org/ or call MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).