Raleigh - The outside lanes of Morrisville Parkway in each direction have reopened near the Park West Village Shopping Center between Bristol Creek Drive and Crabtree Crossing Parkway. The road had been closed in that area since early February for a rail overpass project.
While the outside lanes are open, the inside lanes in each direction remain closed, as there is still median work under way. Once that wraps up in a week or two, and paving of all the lanes is completed in early September, all lanes will be open.
Because work is still under way, the DOT reminds drivers to slow down and pay extra attention as they drive through the work zone.
The project eliminated a railroad crossing on the Parkway by building a railroad overpass bridge, which is also open. In addition to eliminating the chance of a train versus vehicle accident, the new bridge means an end to vehicle backups caused when trains traveling through held up traffic at different times of the day. In addition to local traffic, the Parkway serves as a link between N.C. 54 and Davis Drive.
"The safety focus is the main thing because removing opportunities for train car accidents increases reliability for rail service because you're not dealing with collisions," Transportation Nick Tennyson said on Friday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project.
Rail and safety projects like this play a key role in Governor McCrory's 25-Year Transportation Vision to enhance travel safety and to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation opportunities.
Removing the railroad crossing is also part of NCDOT's Sealed Corridor Program in partnership with CSXT and Norfolk Southern. The goal of the program is to "seal" the rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte by eliminating or improving rail-highway street level crossings. The project is also part of the Piedmont Improvement Program to modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.
In addition to the bridge, the project includes about 1 1/2 miles of railroad construction between Morrisville Carpenter Road and Cary Parkway. That includes the realignment of railroad curves that should improve track speeds and reduce travel times between Raleigh and Charlotte. In addition, the project includes some roadway improvements along Morrisville Carpenter Road at Town Hall Drive, Davis Drive at Morrisville Parkway, and N.C. 54 at Weston Parkway. All the work should wrap up in 2017.