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E-M:/ City Council Rejects Detroit Freight Terminal

News Release                                         More information:

Monday, August 5, 2002                                                                                     Karen Kavanaugh 313-842-0986 ext.26

                                                                                                                                    Kathryn Savoie 313-216-2225


Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal Rejected

MDOT Told  To Drop Controversial Proposal


Community leaders today hailed the unanimous vote by the Detroit City Council that rejected the controversial 840-acre proposed freight terminal for southwest Detroit and Dearborn.


The estimated $200-million project “would do a huge disservice to the quality of life in Southwest Detroit,” according to a resolution sponsored by Council President Pro Tem Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr. and approved Wednesday on a 9-0 vote.  The resolution cited the 16,000 additional trucks a day that would impact the community, the destruction of homes and businesses and health hazards from diesel fumes.


“Our local elected leaders are sending a message to MDOT that’s loud and clear—ditch the DIFT,” said Karen Kavanaugh, co-chair of Communities for a Better Rail Alternative.  “It’s time for MDOT to consider a community friendly alternative that makes sense for southwest Detroit and Dearborn.


“On behalf of the residents of southwest Detroit we thank the City Council and applaud Mr. Cockrel’s leadership in representing the interests of our community. “


The City Council’s action follows a recommendation by the Detroit City Planning Commission to oppose the DIFT.  The council noted that southwest Detroit has the state’s highest level of pollution from diesel exhaust and said toxic substances from additional truck traffic posed a major health hazard to residents. 


CBRA, which represents 50 organizations and more than 800 residents, has proposed an alternative to the DIFT that includes improvements to the existing 300-acre Junction Yard near Livernois and Junction.  MDOT has thus far refused to consider the proposal.



Sent by:  David Holtz, Media Coordinator, Sierra Club