North Charleston City Council will hold a public hearing Thursday on the city's plans to alter, change and open rail lines capable of serving the new state port being build at the southern end of the former Navy Base and Shipyard.

Public comment will be heard on an ordinance authorizing Mayor Keith Summey to execute a memorandum of understanding and agreement between the city of North Charleston, CSX Transportation and Shipyard Creek Associates, LLC.

The special Committee of the Whole meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers. No sign-up is required for those wishing to address the public and members of City Council.

The three entities are cooperating in an effort to close about 3.2 miles of current CSX track that bisects several neighborhoods, while at the same time creating half a mile of new track and rebuilding another half a mile of track that had been left mostly dormant.

Summey said it is the best way to ensure rail connections in and out of the new facility being built by the state Ports Authority, without severely impacting neighborhoods.

Opponents say the plan favors CSX over competitor Norfolk Southern railroad in making port access available.