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Kentucky Tennessee Regional Rail Study

CSR Engineering had the opportunity to represent the Kentucky Tennessee Regional Rail Partnership, Inc. to provide environmental consulting and preliminary railroad engineering services for a proposed 12.7 mile new rail project. CSR was a third-party environmental contractor for the US Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis which oversees all new rail in the US.

The corridor will connect the existing Union City Terminal Railroad in Union City, TN to the TennKen Railroad in Hickman Kentucky at the Mississippi River Port. The corridor will utilize approximately 4 miles of abandoned rail with the remainder of the proposed rail utilizing primarily agricultural land and highway easements. CSR coordinated route planning with TDOT Freight and Logistics. One of the environmental resource areas under NEPA to be evaluated is for Hazardous Materials. CSR performed an ASTM 1527 Phase I ESA along the corridor. This portion of the project included a review of existing regulatory documents for permitted industry and operations along the corridor as well as documented spills, releases or incidents. Historic aerials and topographic maps were reviewed, and field verified by a site reconnaissance along the route and drone video capture. Typical concerns are creosote rail ties along the abandoned rail, illegal dumping, farm chemicals and fertilizer storage, groundwater wells and asbestos in structures.

The Phase I ESA was performed for those residences and structures that needed further assessment and demolition. CSR provided the expertise in the areas of environmental concern (including but not limited to, air quality, wetlands, biological resources, geotechnical resources, hydrology, land use, safety, noise, social and economic, and cultural/historic resources).