The North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) Rail Division has made crossing safety improvements at intersections in Monroe and West End and has scheduled a meeting to discuss crossing closure.
In Monroe, NCDOT installed crossing signals and gates at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and CSX tracks. This $56,089-project was paid for with a combination of state and federal funds. Maintenance funding for the project will be divided equally between the state and CSX. A total of 15 freight trains a day travel through the railroad crossing at a maximum of 40 miles per hour.
In West End, NCDOT installed crossing signals and gates at the intersection of Hoffman Road and the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company (ACWR) tracks. State and federal funds paid for the $109,024-road-widening project and maintenance funding for the project will be divided equally between the state and ACWR. Two freight trains a day travel through the railroad crossing at a maximum of 25 miles per hour.
Both crossing projects are a part of a comprehensive statewide NCDOT program to enhance highway safety by adding or improving signals and gates at public railroad crossings. Automatic warning devices are now in place at more than 2,400 of the 4,100 public at-grade crossings across the state.
In other news, NCDOT will hold a public meeting December 5, regarding the proposed closure of a private crossing at Byrdsville Road on the North Carolina Railroad/Norfolk Southern Railroad corridor in Orange County. The meeting will be held at the Shared Visions Retreat Center in Durham. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments regarding the project.
NCDOT is considering closing the crossing to improve safety for local residents using the existing crossing and for rail crews and passengers. This rail line is part of the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor, which will have increased train speeds and more freight and passenger trains in the future.
An alternate route would be used when this crossing is closed. The alternate route for Byrdsville Road would include Walter Clark Drive and a newly constructed road connecting Byrdsville Mobile Home Park to Walter Clark Drive.
The acquisition of right-of-way is scheduled to begin in 2014 followed by construction in 2015.