News Release

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Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study open house public hearings announced

December 10, 2012

AMES, Iowa – Dec. 10, 2012 – The Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation, has scheduled in-person public hearings and online, self-directed meetings for the Chicago to Omaha Regional Passenger Rail System Planning Study.

Public input will be sought on the Draft Tier 1 Service Level Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including the project’s purpose and need, all reasonable alternatives, the affected environment, and the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives considered. The basis for recommendation of the preferred route alternative will be presented. Preliminary reports, including environmental documents with exhibits and maps, will be available for review.

Each public hearing and online meeting will contain the same presented information, so individuals can attend in-person at the public hearing, or view and comment at the online meeting. We encourage all those interested to participate. The public hearings will be conducted the week of Dec. 11, 2012, using a combined informal open forum and formal format. Iowa DOT staff will be available to discuss the project informally between 4 and 5:30 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session concluding at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the open house public hearing at the following locations.

Chicago, Ill.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012
Chicago Union Station, 500 W. Jackson St., Great Hall Gallery

Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Oak/Willow Room 

Council Bluffs, Iowa
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave., Conference Room A/B

An online, self-directed open house public hearing will be available through Dec. 26, 2012, on the study’s website at www.iowadot.gov/chicagotoomaha/. Information included on this website will be identical to the presentation made at the in-person meetings.

Comments on the Draft Tier 1 EIS can be provided in multiple ways through Dec. 26, 2012, to be considered part of the official public comment record:

  • Leave a comment on the study website.
  • Submit a comment at any of the in-person open house public hearings.
  • Email a comment to email@chicagotoomaha.com.
  • Send a written comment form by mail to Amanda Martin, Iowa Department of Transportation, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010.
  • Call the study’s toll-free information line at 800-488-7119. (Printed hearing materials may be requested using this information line.)

For general information regarding the proposed improvement or the open house public hearings, please contact Amanda Martin, Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation, at 515-239-1653 or via email at amanda.martin@dot.iowa.gov.

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Media contact: Amanda Martin, Iowa DOT’s Office of Rail Transportation, at 515-239-1653 or amanda.martin@dot.iowa.gov

The open house public hearing is accessible to indiviaduals with disabilities. Federal and state laws prohibit employment and/or public accommodation discrimination on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at 800-457-4416 or Iowa Department of Transportation’s affirmative action officer. If you need accommodations because of a disability to access the Iowa Department of Transportation’s services, contact the agency’s affirmative action officer at 800-262-0003. All requests should be made at least five days before the open house public hearing.

 


Iowa highway in the evening