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The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently awarded more than $16 million to 40 freight-rail projects through the Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program.Established in 2013, the program is funded by dividends received from the North Carolina Railroad Co. The funds support projects that improve freight service and grade crossing safety in the state, NCDOT officials said in a press release.The recent allocations included:• $5.3 million for 14 projects designed to improve short-line infrastructure;• $4.7 million for eight projects involving the closure of seven crossings and improvements to adjacent crossings;• $3 million for 13 projects aimed at improving rail access and enhancing freight movements;• $1.9 million for two projects pegged to modernize rail crossing signals; • $833,000 to modernize and add capacity to the Wilmington Terminal Railroad at the Port of Wilmington; and• $200,000 to construct a rail industrial access spur to serve "Project C" at the North Carolina Industrial Center in Mebane on a Norfolk Southern Railway line.Among the projects that received funds are a relay rail installation and track upgrades for the North Carolina and Virginia Railroad; additional sidings and track upgrades for Carolina Coastal Railway; a siding rehabilitation, new industrial tracks and trackwork for North Carolina Railroad and NS; additional track capacity for the High Point, Thomasville & Denton Railroad; new transload tracks for the Thermal Belt Railroad; and track upgrades for the Aberdeen, Carolina & Western Railway, Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad, Caldwell County Railroad, Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad, Clinton Terminal Railroad, Laurinburg & Southern Railroad and Yadkin Valley Railroad.
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