DevelopErie Talks Rail Terminal with Harborcreek Residents - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

DevelopErie Talks Rail Terminal with Harborcreek Residents

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Harborcreek residents have been expressing their concerns over the proposed Intermodal Rail Terminal project, for months.

On Thursday night, hundreds of residents came out to Iroquois high school to fire some tough questions at DevelopErie.

The meeting was supposed to help put residents at ease.  Developers gave presentations and answered questions regarding the development of the terminal; still, many people left with the same concerns as they had before.

"They still haven't convinced me that Harborcreek is the right place for the Intermodal Terminal," said Harborcreek resident, Jeff Pierce.  "It's just going to bring way too much traffic and way too much disruption to our lives," he said.

"You'll have to cross at least 5 tracks, if not maybe 6 tracks; so 6 tracks between Buffalo Road and Iroquois Avenue is a lot of track with no room for maneuverability," said Bill Sinclair, who lives along Walbridge Road, in Harborcreek Township.

"We've probably fielded close to 1,000 phone calls at the Township and whenever we're out in the community, people are talking to us about it," said Harborcreek Township supervisor, Tim May.  "There's just a general concern about this entire project," he said.

Officials from DevelopErie said that for every 1 million square feet that develops around the terminal, we'll see 1,300 new jobs and $3 million in new payroll.

They also explained why the railroad can't be built closer to Erie.

Developers considered several points when choosing a site for the terminal.  They needed an industrial area with access to many roadways.  But perhaps the biggest factor was finding a large enough area to land a 2-mile long train.

"We have be able to land a 10,000 foot-long train, which is essentially 2 miles long, from a 60 to 90 minute timeframe without blocking any major roadway," said Senior Vice President of DevelopErie, Katrina Smith.  "The Harborcreek site allows us to do that," she said.

Despite concerns, developers said the project will be moving forward; construction for the project is set to begin in 2015.

Developers said they'll continue to work with the Harborcreek community to address all of their concerns.
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