$10.9 Million Safety Project to Close RR Crossings at Hopson Road and Church Street Monday, December 3, 2012

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $10.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contract to Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh for a rail safety improvement project that will result in railroad crossings being closed at Hopson Road in Durham County and Church Street in Wake County.

The plan calls for the realignment of 3.8 miles of the North Carolina Railroad/Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks from north of I-40 to McCrimmon Parkway. That part of the project will include construction of a railroad bridge over Hopson Road. It will be built to accommodate the future widening of the road.

The project also calls for the closure of the railroad crossing of Church Street and the adjacent intersection of Church Street and N.C. 54 (Miami Boulevard). Church Street will be realigned to continue onto Keystone Park Drive, which will be extended to intersect with Hopson Road to give motorists access to N.C. 54.

The purpose of the project is to improve highway and railroad safety and operations. The existing railroad crossing for Hopson Road has a poor line of sight for vehicles, as does the crossing for Church Street. Eliminating the crossings takes away the potential for crashes at those sites. In addition, realigning the railroad tracks means trains are able to maintain a higher rate of speed, reducing travel time and improving reliability.

Work on the project can get under way as early as Dec. 31. Work on the railroad track portion is expected wrap up by Aug. 31, 2014. The roadway work should be finished by July 1, 2015.

This is one of 22 contracts totaling $67.1 million awarded by Conti in November for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 6.2 percent, or $4.5 million, below NCDOT estimates.

Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded 749 highway contracts totaling $5.1 billion to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to jobs and educational opportunities. Gov. Perdue continues to support immediate jobs in the construction sector and the goal of ensuring that our transportation network facilitates access to jobs, education and healthcare for the future.

For more information about funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.

*** NCDOT ***

Durham/Morrisville Railroad Improvements and Grade Separation

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