When a gravel company announced it was moving forward with plans to build an asphalt plant on Race Road, some Elkridge residents thought CSX may have turned its attentions away from their neighborhood.
The railroad company, in partnership with the state, has had its eye on a 75-acre parcel at Hanover and Race roads for several years.
The site in Hanover is one of four that CSX and its partner, the Maryland Department of Transportation, are considering for building a train-truck depot called an “," where cargo can be double-stacked on trains and transferred between trucks, but .
During a public meeting last month, a spokesman for the told Elkridge citizens that CSX had an option on the property that would expire May 5.
Caleb Gould, managing partner of Konterra—the development company that owns the land at 6330 Race Rd.—said more recently that his agreements with railroad company CSX were confidential.
Gould declined to comment in a May 14 interview on whether his company had renewed the option with CSX.
“I don’t think it’s pertinent to what we’re doing," he said. "Our interest is to on our site, and we’re trying to go through the process of that now. I don’t really think I should be commenting on my negotiations with CSX.”
But he said that residents who live on the other side of the tracks from his property—where there are more than 200 homes—needed to realize the possibility that the intermodal facility could become a reality.
“The community should bear that in mind that even if [CSX] went away and didn’t have any property under option…it doesn’t mean that their project is necessarily off the table,” said Gould. “There’s always the possibility that the state could condemn [land]. For us, that was a very real consideration—it still is.”
Four sites are to identify which one will house the intermodal facility, which the state plans to open by 2015 to coincide with the widening of the Panama Canal and its accompanying influx of freight.
Two candidate sites are in Howard (Race/Hanover Road and Montevideo Road); one is in Anne Arundel (Brock Bridge Road); and another is in Prince George’s County (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center).
The evaluation process for the four candidate sites will conclude by the end of 2012.
The permitting process for the asphalt plant—which Konterra and its subsidiary, Laurel Sand and Gravel, hope to have up and running in the next year and a half—is under way.
"We have to hear back from MDE [Maryland Department of the Environment] and they’ll tell us what the next steps are, if there are any, or make a determination," said Gould. "It's possible that we’d have a hearing."
Regardless, the Elkridge community has said it will continue to resist the idea of the intermodal facility as it has since the last March.
Howard Johnson, president of the Greater Elkridge Community Association, said during a meeting last week: "We don’t stop until tracks are laid and trains are somewhere in Baltimore."