Harborcreek Rail Terminal Plans Halted - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Harborcreek Rail Terminal Plans Halted

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It's been four and a half years in the planning, but DevelopErie's proposed Harborcreek rail terminal project is off.  DevelopErie announced the decision Monday afternoon that a truck to rail freight project won't go forward at the 30 acres site they acquired at Route 20 and Walbridge Road in Harborcreek.

DevelopErie's finance committee and the executive committee of the Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation voted unanimously to stop the project. Developers say the negative response from Harborcreek residents and officials caused private investors in the plan to pull out.
DevelopErie President John Elliott is extremely disappointed, saying they did the site necessary site studies and brought four million dollars in private investment to the project, but without local support that good work is lost.  "All of the investors have said no more money," said Elliott. "We have shippers who want to use it...and everyone backs out because of localized public reaction.  So this is where we are.  We did our job in setting the table, but we just can't force this."

Harborcreek supervisors are pleased with the decision. They say the voice of residents concerned about everything from traffic, to the safety of school children, business development and the environment has been heard.  "We've fielded probably 1,000 phone calls," said Haborcreek Supervisor Tim May, "local residents not supporting the project."  He added, "They paid 1.6 million dollars for a site worth 700 thousand, money that could have been used to explore other sites, it may be a good project for Erie County just not in Harborcreek."

The full boards of DevelopErie and GEIDC are expected to vote to finalize the decision on June 26.  It's unclear if the project could find the needed community and financial support at a different site.  The Jefferson Educational Society sold tickets for two upcoming lectures on the Harborcreek Rail Terminal project.  They will announce tomorrow if those lectures will go forward.
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