Following the March adoption of the State Rail Plan by the Arizona Transportation Board, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is launching a series of open houses to explore the feasibility and potential impacts of a Phoenix to Tucson rail link.

Four open houses will be held in each county within the study area - Maricopa, Pinal and Pima. Open house sessions begin Oct. 7 in Tucson and run into early November. A full schedule of meeting times and locations is available at www.azdot.gov/intercityrail or by calling toll-free (855) 250-7245.

For those who cannot attend one of the scheduled open houses, online participation is welcomed at www.azdot.gov/intercityrail or via email to intercityrail@azdot.gov.

Comments must be received by Nov. 14.

As part of the study, rail connections will be evaluated as a possible alternative to support the movement of people and commerce along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. ADOT launched the study earlier this year to complete an alternatives analysis and environmental impact statement for a high capacity transportation connection between the state's two metropolitan areas. This study is expected to be complete in 2013.

Should the study indicate that such a rail line is feasible, ADOT would implement further planning and development activities based upon the timeframe identified in the feasibility study, and when funding is available.

The Maricopa County meetings are:

• Oct. 24, 3-7 p.m. at Chandler Downtown Library Copper Room, 22 S. Delaware St.

• Nov. 1, 3-6:30 p.m. at the Mesa Main Library Saguaro Room, 64 E. First St.

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