Alachua County commissioners up Rails to Trails offer to $3.6 million dollars

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)- UPDATE: In a meeting on March 12th, 2019, Alachua County commissioners have voted to increase their offer to CSX Railroads, to 3.6 million dollars.

Their last offer was 3.3 million dollars.

This project has been in the works since 2014.

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A rail line that once connected High Springs and Newberry may connect them once again.

Alachua County Commissioners voted to move forward with a 3 million dollar rail-to-trail project.

Alachua County Commissioners voted to offer CSX Railroad 3.25 million dollars to buy a stretch of rail between High Springs and Newberry.

Some residents say they're eager to see what a new bike trail could add to their community.

The project has been in the works since 2014.

"'I've followed this project, this proposal for years with great optimism and anticipation,” Walt Barry, a resident, said.

The project could transform an old railroad line from High Springs to Newberry into a path bicyclists like bruce bush could enjoy.

In the past the project hit some road blocks with assessments showing parts of the land are contaminated with chemicals like arsenic.

County commissioners are planning to work with CSX Railroad to make sure the path is clean.

“We prefer an indemnification for future clean up or groundwater contamination emanating from the property,” Hutch Hutchinson, Alachua County Commissioner District 3, said.

County commissioners say they hope to reach an agreement with CSX Railroad within the next 30 days.