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The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has obtained a $10 million federal grant to replace a grade crossing in Raleigh with a highway underpass, the department announced last week. The project aims to improve safety, efficiency and reliability of rail service in the state. Grade separations are a first step in developing the Southeast Rail Corridor, which will connect the Triangle region to communities in Franklin, Vance, Warren and Halifax counties, as well as into Virginia and the Northeast, NCDOT officials said in a newsletter.Meanwhile, NCDOT also announced it's seeking public input on its draft transportation plan, called the State Transportation Improvement Program, for 2020-29.Over the next three weeks, each of the department's 14 divisions will host week-long open houses for residents to review maps and other materials for projects in their area. The department unveiled a proposed funding and construction plan in January. NCDOT updates the State Transportation Improvement Program every two years.