Norfolk Southern heard McCalla's concerns at public meeting

BIRMINGHAM , AL (WBRC) - Hundreds of McCalla residents made it clear they do not want a train hub to be built in their city.

Norfolk Southern hosted an informational meeting at the Bessemer Civic Center where residents could learn more about their proposed multimillion dollar project that would be next to McAdory Elementary School.

Norfolk Southern representatives showed videos of the proposed project, and addressed concerns about noise and pollution. They also featured information on a similar facility in Ostell, Georgia. They maintain it will bring an economic boost to the area.

"Based on fact, the project will be great for Alabama and for Jefferson county," said Rudy Husband, "We are going to add 8600 jobs in an area that needs it, and $4 billion in economic development money invested in this area."

Many residents wore T-shirts and surgical masks protesting the noise and pollution.

"It's not good for children," said Celia Griffin, "It's not good to come to an established area and disrupt what is already there. I think that is what the railroad is doing."

"It's not a win win situation," said Terry Finch, "Basically, we're showing unity. We do not want the integrity of our community destroyed, and we want to keep things the way they are."

Norfolk Southern representatives say they hope to get the proper permits necessary and start construction on the train hub in early 2010.