According to an article in the News & Observer, environmental documents have been signed to advance a planned railroad shortcut between Raleigh and Richmond, boosting prospects for faster trains between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
The environmental impact statement, a key project milestone, lays out the detailed route from downtown Raleigh – starting with a new rail bridge over Capital Boulevard between Peace Street and Wade Avenue – and Petersburg, Va., where it would join the current Amtrak route to Richmond. After the next step called a record of decision, expected by the end of 2015, NCDOT will have authority to begin working on the rail line.
This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the new railway will be a great driver of economic development for North Carolina, and it has positive environmental improvement possibilities.
However, the bad news is that many property owners along the proposed route will have their land taken from them to build the new railway, a process known as land condemnation or eminent domain.
Our position, as Land Condemnation lawyers land owners, is that road and infrastructure improvements are critically important for maintaining safety and quality of life. BUT…our role is to be the watchdog to ensure that land owners are not taken advantage of or treated unfairly by the state when their land is being taken. Once land owners are informed that their land is at risk of eminent domain, our job is to help them fight to get fair value compensation for their home or land.