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Port Bienville rail-line extension project publishes environmental-impact statement

September 27, 2018

(Hancock County, Mississippi) The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission is working with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Mississippi Department of Transportation to extend the Commission’s Port Bienville Short Line Railroad by about 24 miles.

On June 2, 2015, the FRA had issued a “Notice of Intent,” to advise the public that the three entities would prepare a project-level Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Bienville Railroad Project, which would connect the Port Bienville Railroad with the Norfolk Southern main line in Nicholson, Mississippi.

The FRA signed the Draft EIS on Sept. 11, 2018, and it was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 21, 2018.

The proposed action will connect the Port Bienville Short Line Railroad at Port Bienville Industrial Park, Hancock County, with the Norfolk Southern Railroad near Nicholson in Pearl River County, to provide Port Bienville with access to dual Class I rail service. Dual Class I rail access is proposed to enable Hancock and Pearl River counties and Stennis Space Center to attract new industries that require this level of rail service and encourage job creation and investment opportunities to help this area recover from natural disasters that have significantly affected local economies.

In 2013, MDOT completed a Feasibility Report, which included the development of reasonable alternative corridors; identification of the economic benefits and opportunities associated with the project; and a recommendation regarding its feasibility. Given the business case for dual Class I rail service, the demands of the existing and emerging business clusters in Hancock and Pearl River counties, the future benefits to Stennis Space Center, the inventory of existing industrial land, and the workforce and transportation assets supporting this region, the construction of this new rail line was determined to be feasible.

The Feasibility Report and additional project documentation can be found at http://sp.mdot.ms.gov/Environmental/Pages/Projects.aspx.

The Draft EIS is available for a 45-day public comment period, which will end Nov. 5, 2018. During this time, the FRA will hold one public hearing.

The public hearing will be Oct. 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm in the multi-purpose room at Stennis International Airport (KHSA) located on the 2nd Floor at 7250 Stennis Airport Road, Kiln, MS 39556.

Links to the Draft EIS are below:

1 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement MAIN TEXT
2 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix A
3 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix B Part-1
4 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix B Part-2
5 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix C
6 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix D
7 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix E
8 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix F
9 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix G
10 Port Bienville Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix H

About HCPHC

As the economic development authority for Hancock County, Mississippi, the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission owns and operates Port Bienville Industrial Park and Stennis International Airport — in addition to fostering business investment for John C. Stennis Space Center, NASA’s premier rocket testing facility. For more information, visit www.portairspace.com.

#Port Bienville Industrial Park, #Port Bienville Railroad, #Public Notice

For More Info: 14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556 (228) 467-9231
info@portairspace.com  
Map14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556
Toll Free: 800.558.1658

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