RALEIGH — Safety and accessibility will be improved along the intermodal rail corridor between the Port of Wilmington and Charlotte, thanks to a grant awarded (Wednesday).
The Federal Railroad Administration awarded the N.C. Department of Transportation a $34.8 million grant as part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program. The grant goes toward improvements on part of CSX’s freight intermodal network.
“It’s essential to our state’s economy that cargo can move efficiently from the ports to other areas within North Carolina, and beyond,” said Jason Orthner, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. “These improvements will reduce congestion on our highways, and help North Carolina remain an economic leader both domestically and globally.”
The project will make several safety improvements at 33 railroad crossings. It will also enhance rail access to the Port of Wilmington and improve rail siding capacity (areas where trains can pass each other) between Polkton, Monroe and Waxhaw. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022.
“The Piedmont Atlantic Intermodal Rail System project is key to improving rail fluidity to and from the Port of Wilmington and providing better access for North Carolina Ports’ customers,” said Paul J. Cozza, executive director of the North Carolina Ports Authority. “The project will provide North Carolina Ports with unprecedented rail access to the greater Charlotte region and the Southeast. This investment shows the importance of improving rail infrastructure in our state and the positive impact an improved rail corridor will have on freight movements across North Carolina.”