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Officials from Carolina Coastal Railway Co. and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) on Tuesday helped drive the final spike for a new siding built adjacent to an existing rail line in Greenville, N.C.The $290,000 Greenville Transload Project will enable companies to receive and unload products via Carolina Coastal Railway."This is a great example of how NCDOT is working to promote economic development in our state by making it easier for companies to ship their product and conduct business,” said NCDOT Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson in a press release.Among the first shippers to use the siding: mining company Tennessee Valley Resources, which plans to ship limestone and fertilizer products to local farmers. Without the rail access, the company would need to ship its product on trucks that would travel more than 400 miles to Greenville, NCDOT officials said.Another project beneficiary is Pitt County, which owns a nearby landfill. The project is expected to generate income for the county due to the fees that trucks will pay to use the scales and move freight in and out of the landfill site, NCDOT officials said.The siding is one of the first projects completed through the state's Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Fund, which was established last year. The fund uses dividends the state receives from the North Carolina Railroad Co. to support projects that improve freight service and rail safety in North Carolina.Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, other state officials and local leaders yesterday broke ground on a $29.6 million grade separation at a U.S. Route 30/CN crossing in Lynwood, Ill.Funded by $6.4 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! construction program and $23.2 million from CN, the project will improve traffic flow and safety at the crossing, said Quinn in a press release.An average of 29,400 vehicles and 42 trains use the crossing daily. The grade separation will eliminate motorist delays, reduce the potential for train, vehicle and bicycle accidents, and improve emergency vehicle response times in the area, state officials said."Everybody wins when workers and goods can move quickly and easily between different parts of our state," said Quinn.The state in June awarded the main construction contract for a bridge over CN tracks to James McHugh Construction Co., which bid $18 million for the work. Other project costs include engineering, land acquisition and utility adjustments. Construction will be managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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