Residents air concerns about port rail deal
In North Charleston neighborhoods, and at City Hall tonight, residents expressed concerns about the port rail settlement the city has reached with the state, which clears the way for a new rail yard on the former Navy Base.
The deal will eventually lead to freight trains heading north and south from the new rail yard, an intermodal terminal where shipping containers will be loaded on to rail cars.
The terminal will be not far from Maxine Syas’ home in the Chicora neighborhood.
Syas, 61, said freight trains sometimes wake her up at night now, and having more nearby strikes her as a bad idea.
“That’s going to be noise,” she said. “We don’t want that, we want our neighborhood quiet.”
At a City Hall meeting held to explain the settlement further, residents including Byran Cordell expressed concern about the northbound rail traffic — something the city had been fighting for years.
“We are deeply concerned about the level of impact on our community,” Cordell said.
Mayor Keith Summey told residents the settlement was the best deal the city could realistically get.
In the deal, the city will get $14.6 million in cash and debt assumption from the state, along with waterfront land on the former base and the promise of a comprehensive study of rail and truck traffic.
The state will build the intermodal rail yard where it had planned, with the city dropping its legal challenges.