Officials update commuter rail

By Justin Boron

A public hearing will be held this evening during which commuter rail developers will update the progress of the project slated to begin service in 2006.

Clayton County Commissioner Carl Rhodenizer, who has been spearheading efforts on behalf of the county, said the meeting will fulfill requirements for project's environmental impact.

The meeting will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the county administration building, 112 Smith St. Jonesboro.

No formal presentations will be made, but citizens are invited to ask questions of various transportation and local officials.

"This public information meeting is part of our effort to continue to keep the public abreast of what is happening on this project," said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl. "The public will be updated on additional potential station site locations proposed for cities of Lovejoy and Jonesboro; additional possible locations of the layover and maintenance facilites as well as the proposed improvements for at-grade rail crossings along the route."

Rhodenizer said talks with Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail lines, have progressed.

The company will likely operate the line, which is planned to extend from Lovejoy to downtown Atlanta, he said.

It is the first phase of efforts to connect Atlanta and Macon with commuter rail.