Feasibility study approved for railway link


City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline attended Thursday’s monthly meeting of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization where she serves as a member of the board.

Planning Director Jeff Sheffield reported to Historic City News that half a dozen new projects have been added to the current two-year work program including an intermodal rail study at St. Augustine-St. Johns County Airport.

The intermodal rail study will consider building a connection to the Florida East Coast Railway and updates an earlier study “exploring the feasibility of establishing an intermodal link opposite the airport to link the airport via Amtrak or commuter rail to points north and south, including Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.”

“It will include recommendations on a possible new location for a terminal station”, Sikes-Kline said.

The City Commission, at the meeting on Monday night, will vote on the passage of a Resolution (2009-30) to support a station location in the city and accept maintenance responsibility for that facility.

The intermodal rail study will be completely funded by federal sources and will cost $50,000. The study is expected to be finished next June.

Also included in $464,435 the TPO board agreed to spend to participate in transit-related planning with the Florida DOT is a St. Augustine Lighthouse Park traffic study.

Sikes-Kline told us that the funding for the traffic study was approved at the request of the Lighthouse Park residents and Principal Don Steele of R. B Hunt Elementary School.

“Mark Knight and I have met with residents and talked with Principal Steele regarding traffic generated by the lighthouse and school on the neighborhood streets”, Sikes-Kline said.

The study will cost $25,000 and will be complete in January 2010.

Photo credit: Leo King