RALEIGH -The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Town of Harrisburg are working together to address concerns based on residents' input on proposals for rail and highway improvements in the Harrisburg area's Haydock to Junker series of projects. This joint effort follows a successful meeting held Friday, March 2, attended by NCDOT representatives, the Town of Harrisburg NC Railroad Committee -comprised of Town Council officials, staff and rail advocates for the community -and additional Town staffers.
Town leaders expressed their concerns and those of the residents to NCDOT officials about plans to modernize and enhance the safety of the railroad tracks along the Raleigh to Charlotte corridor, also known as the Piedmont Improvement Program (PIP). Plans entail the installation of a second track through Harrisburg by the end of 2017.
"We are pleased to collaborate in such a fruitful way with the Town of Harrisburg," said Paul Worley, NCDOT director for Rail Engineering and Safety. "It is through collaboration such as this that great plans are created."
"After a very productive meeting on March 2, the Town is working toward mutually beneficial solutions with NCDOT and we are hoping for a speedy conclusion," said Harrisburg Town Councilman Brian Leepard, also a member of the Town of Harrisburg NC Railroad Committee. "We look forward to sharing our efforts with the residents."
As a result of their first joint meeting, the group revisited current plans and strategized regarding alternatives for roadway modifications, proposed bridge locations and railroad crossings that will safely support an increasing number of freight and passenger trains through the Harrisburg area while mitigating the negative repercussions for residents and business owners as much as possible. The group also decided to hold a joint Project Update meeting by the end of April.
State and town officials looked at the proposed highway projects at Shamrock, Caldwell, Pharr Mill, Millbrook, Hickory Ridge and Robinson Church roads, and options for a new bridge at Roberta Road.
Additional meetings between NCDOT and town officials will be held as the process moves forward.