People in mid-city are trying to derail a plan that would bring more trains along the tracks in their neighborhood.
Fears of future freight railroad cars re-routed from Old Metairie through Holly Grove are why neighbors packed the Lafayette School cafeteria to learn more.
Safety and environmental hazards plus lower property values are the biggest concerns for the group Coalition United Against the Middle Belt.
The Federal Railroad Administration wants to speed up trains throughout the entire New Orleans Rail Gateway, the fourth largest in the U.S.
One set of train tracks already run through Holly Grove.
The D.O.T.D. says they began studying the re-routing issue in 1975.
A federal grant allowed for a feasibility study in 1997 which led to the current environmental study phase.
The Back Belt and Middle Belt are two routes under consideration.
The next phase would be design followed by construction.
There’s no timeline on the completion of the current study phase.
A petition drive to thwart the plan is underway.
City, parish and state officials all play a hand in the decision.
The F.R.A. will make the final call.