Lawyers for Norfolk Southern Railway Co. argued in favor of the truck yard in a Cobb County court Monday, saying the yard will attract as many as 3,500 trucks to Austell, Ga., each day.
According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Norfolk Southern wants to build a train-to-truck transfer facility that will operate 24 hours a day, lifting box cars from trains and putting them on trucks. However, some Cobb County residents want to stop the project and have filed a separate lawsuit to be heard in September. They are claiming the facility will be a nuisance that will turn the area into an industrial zone.
Norfolk Southern lawyers say the county has backed out on a promise to relocate Westside Road, which runs straight through the proposed 450-acre facility, and maintain that the $4 million project was included on its list of projects to be paid for by the 1994 sales tax. The railroad has built an alternative Westside Road.
Cobb County lawyers say the county was originally optimistic about the truck yard, but changed their minds when they realized how big the project would be, and say the truck traffic it will bring to the community would have a devastating effect. In addition, county lawyers say that voters rejected the extension of the 1-percent sales tax for roads in 1998, and voted to cut some of the projects, which included one involving Westside Road.