RALEIGH — Work is expected to begin on Monday, May 12, on a N.C. Department of Transportation project to replace a railroad crossing on Morrisville Parkway with a bridge to carry rail traffic over the road. This is one of a series of projects to improve at-grade crossings along the rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.
A $13.6 million contract was awarded to Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh for the work that will reduce the risk of automobile-train collisions at the site, as well as relieve vehicle and train congestion, while increasing rail capacity and efficiency.
On Monday, westbound Morrisville Parkway will be placed into a one-lane pattern for three-tenths of a mile between Quail Fields Court and Crabtree Crossing Parkway, with the outside lane closed so that waterline construction can take place. Additional utility relocation work will be done before the project itself fully gets under way.
In addition to the bridge, the project also includes about 1.5 miles of railroad construction between Morrisville Carpenter Road and Cary Parkway. That will include the realignment of railroad curves that should improve track speeds and reduce travel times between Raleigh and Charlotte. There will also be minor roadway improvements along Morrisville Carpenter at Town Hall Drive, Davis Drive at Morrisville Parkway, and N.C. 54 at Weston Parkway.
Once the waterline relocation is completed, the roadway between Quail Fields Court and Crabtree Crossing Parkway will be switched to a two-lane, two-way road for about one year. Because this area has several busy commuter routes, the contractor is not allowed to close or narrow travel lanes for Morrisville Parkway, Davis Drive, Chapel Hill Road, Weston Parkway, Town Hall Drive and Morrisville Carpenter Road on weekdays between 6 and 9 a.m., and from 3 to 7 p.m.
There will be two exceptions when the Morrisville Parkway will have to be closed to all traffic. Early in the project, there will be a seven-day closure to allow Norfolk Southern Railroad to set safety crossing arms into the two-lane two-way pattern. The second closure will be for about six months.
The new bridge is scheduled to open by mid-November of 2016. Additional vegetation work should wrap up by May 15, 2017.
The Morrisville Parkway Grade Separation project, removing the railroad crossing, is part of NCDOT’s 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.
The project is also part of the Piedmont Improvement Program to modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.
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Morrisville Parkway Grade Separation