Friday, October 19, 2012

DelDOT unveils $53 million third track project

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has now launched the Delaware Third Track Construction Project. The project involves the addition of a third track along a 1.5-mile segment between Ragan and Brandy Interlockings on the Northeast Corridor, south of Wilmington near Banning Park.

This will allow for more efficient movement and increased performance along the corridor by commuter and intercity passenger trains.

DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt said, "This nearly $53 million project represents funding from the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Amtrak and the State of Delaware. It's a project that epitomizes how far we can go and how much we can accomplish when we have the public and private sector working together, and will provide a more efficient movement and better service along the Northeast Corridor by both commuter and intercity passenger trains."

DelDOT will contribute $10,180,619, $13,300,000 will come from an FRA High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant, $11,183,990 will come from the FHWA, $13,309,477 will be given from the FTA and Amtrak will fund $5,000,000 for the project, totaling $52,974,086.

In addition to a third track to correct a significant choke point on the Northeast Corridor, the project will upgrade infrastructure, rehabilitate two railroad bridges and improve signals and communication apparatus in the area south of Wilmington.

When the Third Track Construction Project is completed in early 2015, Delaware Transit Corporation will be able to add more Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train frequencies between Wilmington and Newark.

The project will also benefit SEPTA, Amtrak's Acela and regional train performance and improve service efficiencies. Forecasts for growth in New Castle County compel DelDOT to look at alternatives to the busy I-95 corridor. Amtrak's Northeast Rail Corridor parallels I-95 and offers the opportunity for commuters to use SEPTA trains instead of their personal vehicles to get to work, school and recreation.

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