GDOT Visits Valdosta To Present State Rail Plan

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Georgia's Department of Transportation is working on the railroad, and now wants to hear from the public.

GDOT officials were at the Valdosta City Hall Annex Thursday for one of six meetings set to take place.

The Department presented ideas for future investments, all the way through the year 2040 , to grow the rail system in the state.

"We're beginning the early phases of a state railway plan update that we are charged with doing every 5 years. We will have a final plan update in December but we invite the public to come out and to let us know what their expectations of the rail system are," said GDOT Spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

Dale said the department is seeking opinions from anyone like shippers, ports, and transit agencies, even public sector transportation planners, and the public.

"This is very important for members of the community who are interested in this or may become interested in the future in how the state is shaping up and how it relates to the state rail system," said Dale.

The Southern Regional Commission is one group that attended the meeting. Officials with the commission say they listen for what people say about the movement of goods in Valdosta-Lowndes County. They said projects like the freight crossing on Highway 84 is an example of improving the rail system.

"The freight crossing is going to greatly improve not only the movement of vehicles across the tracks, but railroads also like that. They don't have to have a signalized crossing, they are able to more efficiently move their tracks," said Southern Regional Commission Transportation Planner Corey Hull.

The meetings are free and open to the public. All meetings are from 5-7 p.m. The second round of meetings will take place in the fall where the State will have recommendations of plans to present to the public.

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