ROCHESTER (AP) -- A federal regulatory board could decide by the end of the year whether the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad can proceed with an expansion project.
The Surface Transportation Board has announced that it will have the results of an environmental impact study by late fall.
"I think it's time for people to get on with their lives," said Kathy King, chairwoman of the group Citizens Against Rochester's Bypass.
Kevin Schieffer, president of DM&E, said the project's supporters tend to want closure while opponents are rooting for delay. "By and large, I think most people on the street just want it decided and over with," he said.
The railroad announced a plan about four years ago to improve its 600-mile line while extending it another 280 miles into Wyoming. The DM&E would use the line to carry western coal to the Mississippi River.
The transportation board gave preliminary approval to the plan in December 1998.
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