An Erie lawmaker is suggesting planners of a proposed $60 million rail terminal drop their plans to build in Harborcreek.
State Representative Pat Harkins is urging planners to consider a site in Erie, along the railroad tracks between Franklin Avenue and East Avenue. He says there is plenty of vacant land and easy access. And the move would satisfy opponents who think the Harborcreek site will cause big traffic problems.
Harkins said, "Harborcreek doesn't want it. I don't think it is going to progress forward out there. In this area it would be a huge boost, economically and jobs, and just to clean up the blighted area. There are many spots that are vacant here and I think it is a win-win for everybody."
But leaders of Develop Erie say the Erie site is too small. And it is used as a rail switching area, making it unworkable as a terminal site.
Katrina Smith of Develop Erie said, "The primary reason it won't work is because of the switching. That in itself is the critical issue. With that particular consideration, it is dead on arrival because of the competition among railroads."
A public hearing on the project is planned for next month. But an exact date and location have not yet been selected.
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