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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

City of Bedford Dissolves White River Port Authority

BEDFORD - FEBRUARY 21, 2023 - The City of Bedford Board of Works and city council voted to dissolve the White River Port Authority on Tuesday.


The White River Port Authority was formed in 2010, to keep the railroad intact from Mitchell to Bedford to keep economic opportunities available to Bedford.


In 2013, the White River Port Authority purchased the loop around General Motors which was the old Milwaukee Rail yard, and the tracks that circled around to Indiana Steel Company from the Indiana Railroad for $100,000.


However, this year CSX transportation took up the railroad tracks from Bedford, to near the railroad bridge on the White River. In addition, the tracks that formed the loop to GM Powertrain that was owned by the White River Port Authority was removed.


Treno Services removed both set of railroad tracks in September 2022.


The deed to the property was conveyed from the White River Authority back to the City of Bedford. All the assets of the White River Port Authority will revert back to City of Bedford in which the city receive $45,000 from salvaging the railroad tracks.


There is interest from the Bedford Urban Enterprise Association in acquiring the property.


In an agreement with the Indiana Railroad the rails cannot be used for a rail to trails program. City council members asked about who will be responsible for environmental concerns which will be investigated by the City of Bedford Attorney Greg Pittman.


The ordinance passed Tuesday night, to dissolve the White River Port Authority was approved.


SOUTH MONON FREEDWOM TRAIL WILL STRETCH FROM BEDFORD TO NEW ALBANY


The 63 Mile long "South Monon Freedom Trail" will stretch from Bedford to New Albany.


Photo - The railroad tracks owned by CSX Railroad was removed from downtown Bedford in September 2022


The Milwaukee Trail stretches from Bedford to Williams - The South Monon Freedom Trail will stretch from Bedford to New Albany


The trail will connect five counties throughout southern Indiana.


Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced during his 2023 State of State Address that the south Monon Freedom Trail is coming to Bedford, Indiana.


The trail will begin just north of the Sazerac facility which is still using the CSX railroad tracks to that facility and will end near Bedford. (Yockey Road).


The trail will be one of longest recreational trail in the State of Indiana. " The Monon South Trail will preserve a piece of our Hoosier History while promoting quality of place in our rural communities," said Governor Eric Holcomb.


The Indiana Department of Transportation is awarding $29.5 Million to acquire and begin the development of the trail.


CSX railroad was considering abandoning the rail line between New Albany and Bedford six years ago.


In a previous story written by the Lawrence County Zephyr, Radius Indiana is now the negotiator with CSX Transportation, Jacksonville, FL for 57.8 miles of track from New Albany Indiana to Yockey Road in Lawrence County.


The railroad tracks in Bedford have now been removed - Radius Indiana is the chief negotiator for 57.8 Miles of railroad from Yockey Road to New Albany


A notice of Interim Use or Abandonment has been filed into two separate proposals. The City of New Albany is in negotiations for 4.5 Mile from the Ohio River Bridge to the former Pilsbury Plant. The first rail cars have since rolled over the 4.5 track in New Albany to service a industrial plant there.


Sazerac opened a new bottling facility at the former Pilsbury plant.


The former Pilsbury refrigerated dough factory reopened as a blending, packaging and distribution facility for spirits maker Sazerac Company.


The drop-dead date on February 18, 2023, is the final day for negotiations to finalize. If there is no agreement CSX Transportation may fully abandon the line, and subject to any conditions by the Surface Transportation Board.


The new trail proposal will be the second rail project in Lawrence County with the 10 Mile Milwaukee Trail stretching from Bedford to Williams.


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