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Galveston County Rural Rail Transportation District
by Jim Guidry
Monday, June 17, 2013

The Galveston County Rural Rail Transportation District Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Legacy Port Partners, LLC to provide funding for a feasibility study by The Goodman Corporation of a new freight rail connection to Pelican Island and construction of a new four lane bridge to serve auto and truck traffic on Pelican Island. Listen (6:00)

“Legacy has agreed to fund the feasibility study and its ‘fair share’ of the estimated $1.3 million toward the engineering and environmental studies to get the proposed capital improvements to ‘shovel ready’ status,” explained a news release. “Legacy has already conveyed initial funding to the RRTD to begin the feasibility work.”

GCRRTD President John Ford said that he has been working with representatives of Galveston County Navigation District No. 1 and the Galveston Economic Development Partnership toward gaining support for the initial feasibility study, and engineering/environmental work.  

“We are all going to work together cohesively to make this move forward,” Ford said.  “And that’s going to be something that’s going to be very important.”

GEDP President Jeff Sjostrom agreed that the project will require a cooperative effort.
Listen (:42)

“I think this is an interesting and exciting opportunity for the rail district,” Sjostrom said.  “I think there are a lot of stakeholders that are going to need to be involved, and stay involved, as it relates to Pelican Island and transportation to and from Pelican to Galveston.

Vandy Anderson, chair of the navigation district, was optimistic about the project. Listen (:40)

“I think this is a major step forward,” Anderson said.  “We’re glad to have this support from the rail authority here.  John Ford has done a great job in negotiating this contract."

Representatives of Legacy said that their group is dedicated to achieving the connectivity with Pelican Island which they say will enhance the economic development of the Port, City of Galveston, and private sector.  

“We are very excited about being given the opportunity to participate in this project,” said Tom Holt of Legacy.  “It’s a very well deserved project that’s been a long time coming and we are very excited about the possibilities."  Listen (:05)

Ford gave credit to Galveston County Judge Mark Henry and Galveston County Commissioners Court for their support of a rail connection to Pelican Island.  He said many other stakeholders will be involved, including the City of Galveston, Port of Galveston, Port of Houston, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration. 

The Goodman Corporation will be leading the feasibility study and other coordinating efforts toward achieving the project objectives.

“We are very excited about being given the opportunity to participate in this project,” said David Rogers of TGC.  “It’s been a long time coming and we’re excited about the possibilities.”  

For additional information on the project contact Barry Goodman at The Goodman Corporation

To review last week's report on the Galveston County Rural Rail Transportation District Click Here

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