Great Lakes Basin Transportation[1], Inc. proposes to construct a new railroad line around the metropolitan Chicago area.  The purpose of the new railroad is to expedite freight movements across the nation and to provide additional capacity for growing railroad traffic.

The Great Lakes Basin is a large railroad project extending from part of Indiana, through Illinois and into the southern part of Wisconsin. The privately funded Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc., (GLBT) plans to provide an $8 billion, 278-mile rail line[2] to circumvent Chicago’s hub from Janesville, Wisconsin, south to Rockford, into Grundy County, Kankakee County, and into Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.

In recent weeks, the Federal Surface Transportation Board has conducted public meetings throughout the region, seeking input and drawing lots of opposition from area farmers. Next, the STB is expected to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a two- to three-year process, and then decide if it will approve or deny the project, or change the route.

Compensation for Indiana and Illinois Landowners

The main issue for impacted owners is will they be fairly compensated by Great Lakes Basin Railroad. The co-founder, Frank Patton, mentioned that they would be paid $20,000 an acre, pro-rated to the 200 foot right of way strip needed for the rails. There are many issues including impacting farmer operations, decreased overall land value and other issues such as access, tile and the potential impact on wetlands.

In a decision issued on April 8, 2016, the Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) announced to the public and all interested parties that the comment period for the EIS Draft Scope of Study will be extended an additional 30 days to June 15, 2016.

Contact an Indiana Condemnation Attorney

If you are an Indiana landowner and you believe that you and your land will be impacted by the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad project, the skilled Indiana condemnation attorneys at Sever Storey LLP have the experience necessary to review your situation and determine what steps are necessary to protect your interests. Please call today at 888-318-3761 for help.