The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has selected the City of Kalispell, Montana, to receive a Fiscal Year 2015 grant award under its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. The USDOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is administering the TIGER grant.
The Glacier Rail Park/Kalispell Core Area Development and Trail Project (Project) consists of the following two phases:
Phase I: Construction and operation of the new Glacier Rail Park (Rail Park), which will include 10,000 linear feet of new rail to serve industrial users in the rail park and provide a new rail turnaround adjacent to the rail park allowing for the removal of the original track in Kalispell; improvements to access roads on the north and east sides of the new Rail Park, traffic signal and road improvements for truck access to Montana Highway 2, and utilities to each lot in the Rail Park to provide access to City water and sewer, power, gas and fiber optics. The new Rail Park will improve the efficiency of existing freight rail operations by relocating operations to a dedicated facility and eliminating the need for the rail line to bisect the community.
Phase II: A rail-to-trail component known as the Kalispell Trail, which will include the removal of nearly two miles of existing BNSF rail line from milepost 1225.19 to the west side of Meridian Street at milepost 1226.79, conversion of the existing rail bridge to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian use, and construction of a public use recreational trail in the abandoned railroad right-of-way, and the construction of up to three complete street connections in the Kalispell Core Area. Phase II will not begin until construction of the Rail Park has been completed and is operational, the existing rail line has been abandoned, and freight rail traffic has been moved off the rail line.
FRA and the City of Kalispell prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the Project on the human and natural environment. The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321 et seq.); the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500–1508); and FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Federal Register [FR] 28545 [May 26, 1999] and 78 FR 2713 [January 14, 2013]).
The EA is being made available for a 30-day public review and comment period
This public comment period is also intended to satisfy the public involvement requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act.
Interested parties are invited to submit comments during the comment period as follows:
By mail to: Katharine Thompson
Community and Economic Development
City of Kalispell
201 First Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The public comment period is Friday May 19 through Saturday June 17.
This webpage will be updated with additional documentation and information as the project advances.
Environmental Assessment and Appendices: These are available on the City’s webpage at http://www.kalispell.com/community_economic_development/