RALEIGH – A railroad improvement and safety project on Hopson Road in Durham will require the closure of the road between Davis Drive and Miami Boulevard for 10 days, effective Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. The closure is needed so crews can do utility work along the road.
Traffic will be diverted onto N.C. 54 as an alternate route between Davis Drive and Miami Boulevard.
The project, underway since early 2013, is designed to improve safety on Hopson Road, as well as speed up train travel along the Charlotte -Raleigh corridor by eliminating railroad crossings at Hopson Road and Church Street. A bridge wide enough to accommodate any future widening of Hopson Road is being built to carry train tracks over the road, replacing the existing street level crossing.
In addition, Church Street is being realigned to close its railroad crossing, creating an intersection with Hopson Road.
The Hopson Road crossing was the site of a triple fatality in 1992. This event prompted NCDOT to establish its Sealed Corridor Program in partnership with CSXT and Norfolk Southern. The goal of the program is to “seal” the rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte by eliminating or improving rail-highway street level crossings.
There is also 3.8 miles of parallel tracks being built from north of I-40 to north of McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville, and the straightening of existing railroad curves. The passing siding will improve efficiency for both passenger and freight trains by allowing them to both travel through that area at the same time. That will also mean increased track speeds, which will help reduce travel times and improve efficiency.
The project is expected to wrap up by late December 2015.
The $27 million project is a partnership effort. The NCDOT is paying $10.9 million for the railroad bridge, road realignment and grading work for the parallel track. Norfolk Southern is building the additional track line, and North Carolina Railroad purchased the land for the improvements.
The project is part of the Piedmont Improvement Program to modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.
Durham/Morrisville Railroad Improvements and Grade Separation
STIP number U-4716ABC