Thursday, February 14, 2013

Piedmont Improvement Program grade separation begins with Hopson Road bridge

Work on the $24-million railroad bridge at Hopson Road in Durham, N.C., that will make train and vehicular travel safer and faster while boosting the local economy has begun.

"Safety is our highest priority and investing in a new bridge at Hopson Road means we can improve safety and allow trains to travel faster which will be a great economic benefit for the region," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, investing in our nation's infrastructure is critical for our country's future economic growth."

The Hopson Road Project is the first of 12 Piedmont Improvement Program projects dedicated to separating rail and highway traffic. The project will ultimately eliminate 50 crossings between Charlotte and Raleigh. The new bridge at Hopson Road will eliminate two highway-rail grade crossings, straighten a curve and add a rail siding to allow more flexibility for passenger and freight trains to pass each other.

The new, two-track rail bridge over Hopson Road will eliminate long delays for vehicular traffic as trains pass and straighten the rail line route to allow for an increase in speed from 55 mph to 79 mph and up to 90 mph in the future. The new three-mile long passing siding will create more efficient train movements in and out of the Raleigh area.

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