North College Park residents at the NCPCA meeting last night opposed the construction of a proposed CSX facility at the corner of Sunnyside avenue and Edmonston Road.
Sharon A. Daboin , CSX Resident Vice President and Bradley M. Smith, MDOT’s project manager were at the meeting to pitch for the proposed facility.
CSX and MDOT are saying without a new intermodal facility, Maryland cannot access the double-stack network. The network is an integral part of the national gateway, a public-private partnership between CSX railroad and several eastern states including Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia to provide what is called intermodal drayage transportation. The purpose of the project is to achieve a minimum of 21 feet of vertical clearance along CSX’s rail corridor.
“Without the facility, it’s like we’re having a highway with no ramps. This will cause loss of new markets, business retention and attraction impacts. This means higher supply chain costs, slower economical growth and employment risks.” – said project manager Bradley Smith.
However residents at the meeting said they were concerned about the project’s impact on traffic in the area, especially on Route 1, Sunnyside avenue, Rt 201. In particular Sunnyside Rd., that borders north College Park is so small and narrow that it cannot safely handle 500-1000 hundred truck trips a day.
Other concerns about the project include damage to the Indian Creek watersheds and the surrounding wetlands, truck pollution, change of area’s zoning from residential open space (R-O-S) to open space (O-S).
Beltsville location is one of the four proposed sites CSX/MDOT are considering in the area. The other 3 sites are located at Hanover, Jessup and Montevideo.
A group of Beltsville residents have already opposed the site location.
County council woman Mary Lehamn’s (Dist 1) representative Matt Dernoga was also at the meeting to read a letter from Ms. Lehman opposing the facility.