High-speed rail system making strides in Birmingham

Local News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Birmingham is once again in the discussion of creating a high-speed rail system that would connect Dallas to Atlanta along I-20.

Birmingham advocates of the new transportation system say the project would cut back on travel time from Birmingham to Atlanta as well as sparking economic growth for jobs and tourism.

Project I-20x would span over 800 miles between Dallas Texas and Atlanta Georgia.

“It will simply be fantastic. It will open up access that we’ve never had before,” said Richard Finley, president of Finley group.

Stations will be established in Shreveport La., Jackson Miss., and Birmingham.

“There’s just a ton of opportunities. We’ve seen the downturn of covid and what it did to the economy. So coming in with projects like this that create a minimum of five years’ worth of jobs we have to pursue this, and we have to do our diligence on this,” said Birmingham City Councilman Clinton Woods.

In an effort to get more information out to the public, investors, and stakeholders about the project councilmen woods is planning a high-speed rail conference in the fall.

“One discusses the benefits of bringing high-speed rail to the area. But all you’re going to hear from the train manufacturers. What their products are how they are built how long it’s going to take,” said Woods.

The project is still in the very early stages with a lot of hurdles still to come before the high-speed rail system is approved.

“First a memorandum of cooperation. From the memorandum of cooperation, we will submit to the state legislatures a high-speed rail compact and were hoping to get that compact before each state legislature before the first of the year before they reconvene,” said Finley.

Once the compact is complete then urban planners and engineers, they’ve been working with will be ready to start.

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