WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is extending the deadline for public comment on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) FUTURE preferred alternative.

The public comment period was scheduled to end January 31, 2017.  At Senator Reed’s request, the deadline for public comment will be extended at least several weeks so further input may be analyzed.

“I am pleased the FRA is extending the deadline to help ensure that all voices are heard and all options are considered.  This must be an open, transparent process.  This extension will give citizens more time to offer input and it will give the FRA more time to carefully study the data and make informed decisions.  I am glad the FRA is not trying to rush the process, and I hope the incoming Trump Administration will honor that commitment,” said Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing & Urban Development.

In 2012, FRA launched NEC FUTURE as a comprehensive planning initiative with the goal of informing future investment in the Northeast Corridor over the next generation.  Under NEC FUTURE, FRA will select an alternative that will be subject to continued study, refinement, comment and review should funding become available for individual projects over the next several decades.   

Reed also noted that the State of Rhode must be on board for any project in the state to move forward under NEC Future, and any project would be subject to more detailed environmental review and public comment. 

“No passenger rail project in Rhode Island can proceed without the active and affirmative support of the State.  Period.  The FRA’s document is a concept paper.  Any project broadly described in the FRA’s vision would need to go through a project-specific environmental review and intense permitting process, which is subject to judicial review,” noted Reed.

Interested parties are encouraged to comment online at www.necfuture.com, via email at: comment@necfuture.com, or by mail to:

U.S. DOT - Federal Railroad Administration
One Bowling Green, Suite 429
New York, NY 10004