Durham, NC: USD27 million grade separation complete

15 Jul

State transportation officials gathered in Durham on July 12th, 2016 to celebrate the completion of a construction project designed to enhance rail safety and efficiency.

“To help fulfill Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision, our Rail Division is working to enhance rail safety and connectivity across the state,” said North Carolina’s Transportation Secretary, Nick Tennyson. “These projects will modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.”

The project is funded through a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration and was completed in partnership with the North Carolina Railroad Company and Norfolk Southern Railway.

Construction on the Hopson Road grade separation and passing track project began in 2013 and was the first Piedmont Improvement Program project to break ground. It was designed to improve road safety and speed up train travel along the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor by eliminating railroad crossings at Hopson Road and Church Street. A bridge wide enough to accommodate any future widening of Hopson Road was also built to carry train tracks over the road, replacing the existing street level crossing.

The project also constructed a new 3.3-mile passing track between McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville and I-40 in Durham.

The improvements will help provide schedule reliability for passenger service as the addition of a second track will allow passenger trains to pass slower freight trains. The new bridge over Hopson Road will reduce the risk of automobile/train collisions, improve safety for automobile and rail passengers and reduce automobile and train traffic congestion.

“This project is a result of long-term vision and collaboration among all the partners involved,” said Scott Saylor, President of the North Carolina Railroad Company. “The Hopson Road grade separation and new passing track will have an immediate and significant impact on both rail and highway safety, as well as increased efficiencies for our freight and passenger rail providers.”

Delivery of the $27 million project is a partnership effort. NCDOT constructed the railroad bridge, road realignment and grading work for the parallel track. Norfolk Southern built the additional track line, and the North Carolina Railroad Company purchased the land for railroad improvements.

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