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Friday, December 11, 2009

New connector track to close Greenville, N.C., crossing

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The railroad crossing on South Pitt Street located between 14th and Wyatt streets in Greenville, N.C., will permanently to facilitate the construction of the new rail connecting track, The Greenville Daily Reflector reports. This section of Pitt Street will no longer be a through street. Area residents and services will be able to use Beatty and Evans streets to access Howell and 14th streets.

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.

Officials 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.

The 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.

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