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County sues to stop state-funded project

Montgomery County today filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court challenging the constitutionality of the state’s public funding of a planned intermodal rail facility.  The complaint is here.  In a news release, county leaders lay out their case for opposition to the project.  According to the county, the state funding plan violates two sections of the Virginia constitution:

“The County requests that the Court de*clare that the Commonwealth’s public funding of Norfolk Southern’s private intermodal facility violates the prohibitions in the internal improvements clause and the credit clause. It also asks the Court to stop the Commonwealth from further violations of the Constitution of Virginia by ceasing funding of the planned intermodal rail facility in a manner that violates the Constitution of Virginia.”

As reported by the Associated Press, the state plans to build a connector highway and assist Norfolk Southern with development of the intermodal yard in Elliston. The yard will handle trailer-sized containers that can be transferred among trains, ships and trucks.

The yard will be part of the Heartland Corridor, a $249 million project to move freight containers between Columbus, Ohio, and the Norfolk port more efficiently.

By Peter Vieth

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