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Wednesday, December 05, 2012    

North Carolina DOT lets contract for freight-rail project

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has awarded a $10.9 million contract to Fred Smith Co. for a rail safety improvement project in Durham and Wake counties.

The project calls for realigning 3.8 miles of North Carolina Railroad Co. and Norfolk Southern Railway tracks from north of Interstate 40 to McCrimmon Parkway, and building a railroad bridge over Hopson Road to accommodate the future widening of the road. In addition, two grade crossings will be closed.

The project will bolster highway and railroad safety, and improve rail operations, NCDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

"Realigning the railroad tracks means trains are able to maintain a higher rate of speed, reducing travel time and improving reliability," they said.

Work on the project is slated to begin as early as Dec. 31. The track portion is expected to wrap up by Aug. 31, 2014, and roadway work should be finished by July 1, 2015, NCDOT officials said.

The contract is one of 22 awarded last month — totaling $67.1 million — for highway and bridge projects in the state.

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