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The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) on Monday announced it marked a milestone for the Piedmont Improvement Program (PIP) after the first section of track was laid as part of rail corridor improvements in Salisbury.The track will serve as a temporary rail bypass to allow for construction of a railroad bridge over Klumac Road in downtown Salisbury on the North Carolina Railroad Co.'s (NCRR) corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte. Part of a grade separation project, the new bridge will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by separating train and vehicle traffic, NCDOT officials said in a press release."This marks a significant step as we work to build a better railroad,” said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. “Ultimately, these projects will make train travel safer and more reliable, while better connecting major economic regions of our state and enhancing opportunities for job growth and commercial development.”The project also involves the removal of a grade crossing at Klumac Road and construction of a road. Work began in May 2013 and is slated for completion in October 2016.The PIP is a $520 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project designed to improve the NCRR corridor, which is used by 50 Norfolk Southern Railway trains and 10 Amtrak trains daily. The program involves 20 projects that are scheduled for completion by fall 2017. NCRR has committed $44 million for corridor improvements, which will be derived from its trackage rights agreement with NS.