HARRY T. THAMES of Gulfport (Letter to the Editor, September 9th) couldn't be more wrong a route along the current CSX railroad location is NOT acceptable and reasonable.
Some of the reasons relocating the CSX railroad is NOT acceptable and reasonable.
*The Sun Herald has done numerous pieces about the lack of affordable housing on the coast. Homes North of the Interstate were not destroyed by the storm surge, during Katrina. Destroying them now, in order to make way for the railroad would not only be cruel; it would create even more problems with affordable housing as millions of people would lose their homes. Millions of others would see their property values plummet when a railroad was plopped next door to them.
*The railroad tracks are on property not owned by CSX but exist by a prescriptive easement. This means if there is any attempt to cease the use of these tracks by the railroad the land will be returned to the heirs of this property. Either by direct purchase or even eminent domain, this would be an absolute legal nightmare involving hundreds of heirs of former property owners, it would be years before the land could be used for anything.
*The cost of moving the railroad, as estimated by the consulting firm of DMJM Harris of New Orleans, hired by Wayne Brown and MDOT, would be between $1.9 Billion and $2.9 Billion. That amount of money could rebuild every school, every bridge and most of the infrastructure on the entire Coast.
*The railroad tracks are not isolated to the state of Mississippi but are connected to the rail system coming from Alabama and Louisiana. Are these states going to move their tracks at the same time? If they don't we will be making a big, extremely expensive loop to accommodate a few peoples vision of what the Mississippi coast should look like?
*HARRY T. THAMES has yet to explain how having a roadbed parallel to and SOUTH of Highway 90 (which is where the railroad tracks are located in Jackson County) would be of benefit to anyone. If Highway 90 is damaged due to a hurricane it's logical to assume that any roadbed SOUTH of it would also be damaged.
*The plan to move the tracks is so flawed that the Jackson County Board of Supervisors in 2003 passed a resolution opposing this issue citing the reasons being” economically detrimental, interference with major transportation arteries, interference with county facilities, limiting growth and presenting a safety hazard as well as the impracticality of such a move.
The route for an additional east-west traffic corridor is obviously NOT along the CSX tracks and it's time the Sun Herald (September 4th, editorial) stopped beating a dead horse. It's past time for the residents of Biloxi & Gulfport, the casinos and The Sun Herald to start looking at alternatives to their traffic woes instead of trying to inflict their solution on neighboring counties.