The closing comes as work to reduce traffic delays caused by trains changing direction at the city's railroad switching yard gets under way. In the past, trains have been forced to stop to detach cars, causing lengthy jams on Arlington Boulevard, Howell and 14th streets. A connector track will enable trains to change direction in one smooth movement, and should decrease delays by 75 percent.
broke ground on the project Nov. 30. Construction on the new section of
rail should conclude in mid-March. The entire rail yard eventually will
be moved north of the city, off N.C. 903. A number of environmental and
other assessments must be completed before that portion of the
$9.75-million project can begin.
City engineers estimate the relocation won't take place for another year or more.
N.C. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of
Transportation, CSX Transportation, Carolina Coastal Railway, Norfolk
Southern and the city partnered to make the project possible.