(BEDFORD) – The White River Port Authority voted this morning to remove the railroad tracks on I and J streets in Bedford.
The votes come prior to a paving project on I and J streets from State Road 58 to 14th Street.
The railroad tracks were removed on I Street following a sewer repair. The White River Port Authority went ahead and authorized the removal of the railroad tracks on J Street.
The rails that are removed will become the property of the White River Port Authority.
Prior to today’s meeting, Mayor Sam Craig appointed Larry Parsons, Larry Hardman, and himself to serve on the White River Port Authority committee.
The White River Port Authority committee voted Mayor Sam Craig as chair, Larry Hardman as vice-chair, and Shance Sizemore to serve as secretary.
Larry Parsons was appointed for a two-year term, Sam Craig a three-year term, and Larry Hardman a four-year term.
Mitchell Mayor J.D. England is also a member of the White River Port Authority but did not attend the meeting. In addition, he has one appointment with the White River Port Authority to fill. That appointment has not yet been named.
The White River Port Authority owns the Industrial loop that starts just east of the CSX Railroad line and runs from J street east. They purchased the loop for $250,000 and in agreement with Indiana Rail Roads it can never be used for a Rail to Trails program.
The future of the White River Port Authority is in doubt with the proposal of turning the CSX Railroad line from New Albany to near Yockey Road as a Rails to Trails program.
At the present time, CSX Railroad has not committed to the Rail to Trails program from New Albany to Yockey Road.
The City of Bedford and CSX Railroad have been in negotiations to be able to take up the track in the middle of the downtown. Last night, an email from CSX railroad gave the city permission to remove the tracks at 13th and 14th streets.
No timeline has been set on when the railroad tracks in the downtown area will be removed. Officials say some legal issues need to be addressed first.
CSX Railroad has requested that the rails be given back to the railroad once they are removed.