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Yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) launched a project involving the construction of 11 miles of second track on a Norfolk Southern Railway line between Salisbury and Kannapolis.To be completed in November 2016, the $19.9 million project also calls for upgrading or closing several grade crossings, extending Kimball Road from Main Street to Center Avenue, and constructing a bridge carrying North Carolina Railroad Co. (NCRR) tracks over Kimball Road.The construction of a second track will enable trains to pass each other more easily, which will, in turn, improve rail travel times along the Raleigh-to-Charlotte corridor, NCDOT officials said in a press release. In addition, closing and upgrading the crossings will better separate vehicle and train traffic to improve safety, they said.The project is part of the Piedmont Improvement Program (PIP), which involves a series of projects designed to improve the rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte for freight and passenger trains. To be completed by September 2017,the PIP includes a total of 30 projects, including 12 grade separations. Program partners include NS, CSX Transportation, NCRR and the Federal Railroad Administration.
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