There is a plan to re-route Old Metairie freight traffic through Hollygrove, Dixon and Mid-City known as the Middle-Belt option. It is one of several options under consideration but appears to be the preferred option.

The Middle-Belt promises at least 30 mile long freight trains 24 hours per day—more than 1.4 trains per hour with potential for expansion. A steady flow which threatens our community. The U.S. Department of Transportation projects a 60% increase in tonnage by the year 2020. Department of Transportation also boasts the Middle-Belt’s potential benefit for increased rail traffic into the future. Future increases will inevitably effect all communities along connected freight rails throughout the city.

The Middle-Belt promises significant increases in rail emissions, and destroys quality of life promising pollution, noise, vibrations, and threats to our health and safety.  Approximately 60% of cargo passing through populated communities will consist of chemical, petroleum, flammable or hazardous material, and coal cargo benefitting the “chemical corridor” at the risk and expense of our community’s health and safety.

The Middle-Belt disproportionately impacts communities of color and
low-income residents. It threatens the investments of all who returned after Hurricane Katrina to rebuild our flooded communities, homes, businesses and neighborhood parks.

The impact of extended construction which is projected to last as long as 15 years includes construction on overpasses and a portion of I-10 which will create likely road closures and detours with city-wide impact.

The Middle-Belt promises expropriation of an unspecified number of residences, viable businesses and parks, and lowered property values along the route. Vibrations from construction and the promise of steady rail traffic threaten the foundations of historic homes and integrity of masonry tombs dating back to the 1840s within just steps of the proposed rail.

An Environmental Impact Study currently underway and may be completed as early as July 2014. Most were unaware of the single public meeting held in Orleans Parish in February 2012. This is a citywide issue. 

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has not come out in opposition, and it appears unlikely that the City Council has any real ability to stop this.  During the upcoming election, ask where your candidate stands on the issue. Vote accordingly in the primary on February 1, 2014.

Check back soon for more information and how you can help! In the meantime, learn more by looking at the map page, visiting our links and news page as we work to construct this site. If you missed the February 2012 meeting and have Flash you can watch the presentation. To see the route considered through Hollygrove, Dixon and Mid-City see pages 40-43 of the 2007 DOTD Feasibility Study Drawings.

Links and Documents

“We Won't Be Railroaded ” has picked up steam”

—Della Hasselle,

Mid-City Messenger

Mid City

Mid City Yacht Club

Finn McCools


Trinity Christian Community

Hollygrove Dixon

Neighborhood Association

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