Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The proposed intermodal facility slated for Elliston (“New study of intermodal facility to focus on economic benefits,” July 27 news story) is a model of anti-democratic maneuvering. The decision by unelected railroad officials to build the facility opposes wishes of Elliston residents, whose master plan calls for preserving the natural environment and maintaining the small-town character of Elliston and Lafayette.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is subsidizing the inland port because it assumes it will reduce truck traffic on state roads. The opposite may occur if companies in surrounding states send trucks south and north on Interstate 81 to the truck-magnet port rather than directly west.
Increased diesel exhaust would generate toxic fumes and particulates into our air-quality-compromised valley. Unlike Rail Solutions, which puts the entire truck on a rail ferry, this inland port proposes diesel trucks driving into and out of Elliston, putting tractors right back onto I-81.
The decision to complete the project should consider Roanoke area truck volume and how the port would affect air quality and outdoor tourism. Most important is what Elliston wants.
This inland port may also undermine American workers by increasing imports. Norfolk Southern’s caution is appropriate because manufacturing trends are changing.
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