Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First section of rail laid near Salisbury for Piedmont Improvement Program

First section of rail laid near Salisbury for Piedmont Improvement Program NCDOT

The N.C. Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) Piedmont Improvement Program (PIP), a $520-million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project to improve the North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte, celebrated a major milestone with the laying of the first section of track.


"This marks a significant step as we work to build a better railroad," said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. "Ultimately, these projects will make train travel safer and more reliable, while better connecting major economic regions of our state and enhancing opportunities for job growth and commercial development."

The track serves as a temporary rail bypass to allow for construction of a new railroad bridge over Klumac Road in downtown Salisbury. Known as the Klumac Road Grade Separation Project, the new bridge will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by separating train and vehicle traffic.

The project also involves removing the railroad crossing at Klumac Road and constructing a half-mile of the road on new location to tie in to the intersection of Mooresville Road and South Main Street. Construction on the project began in May 2013 and is expected to be completed in October 2016.

Grading work in preparation of laying new track is currently underway at seven other locations along NCRR's Raleigh-Charlotte rail corridor, which is operated by Norfolk Southern and hosts 10 daily Amtrak trains. In total, PIP involves approximately 20 projects along the corridor that will be completed by the fall of 2017.

NCRR has committed $44 million to fund the corridor improvement projects.