Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in the department's weekly newscast N.C. Transportation Now.
Murchison Road Ribbon Cutting in Fayetteville
On Dec. 9, officials from NCDOT, Fort Bragg, the City of Fayetteville and the Town of Spring Lake celebrated the completion of the Murchison Road widening project with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The project supports the closure of Bragg Boulevard through Fort Bragg. It also coincides with the completion of several key sections of the Fayetteville Outer Loop, including one that opened a couple weeks ago between Bragg Boulevard and the All-American Freeway.
In addition, the department announced this week that a design-build contract will be developed for the Outer Loop section from Camden Road to I-95, accelerating the project by one year. The entire 39-mile loop has been fully funded through the Strategic Transportation Investments Law, and will be completed by 2025.
NCDOT Breaks Ground on Railroad Improvement Project in Hertford County
Earlier this week, Secretary Tennyson was joined by Congressman G.K. Butterfield and other officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for track and railroad crossing improvements in Hertford County. The improvements will enhance safety, increase capacity and enhance the movement of goods along the North Carolina and Virginia Railroad line located in Northampton, Bertie and Hertford counties, as well as Southampton County, Virginia.
The ceremony was held in Cofield at Nucor Steel, one of Hertford County's largest employers, and the primary customer of the railroad. More than 60 percent of the plant's annual production ships by rail. The project will allow the railroad to ship heavier loaded rail cars at faster speeds, which is key to serving industries based in the area, and opening the door to new economic opportunities for the region.
The project also helps fulfill Governor Pat McCrory's 25-Year Vision by leveraging our infrastructure to create economic development opportunities. In addition, the increased freight rail capacity will help reduce the amount of goods that need to be shipped by truck on U.S. 158 and other area roadways.
The $11.6 million project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2019. NCDOT secured half of the funding through a federal grant from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program. The balance of the cost is covered by an investment of $3 million from the railroad and $2.8 million in state funds.
New State-of-the-Art Weigh Station Opens in Gaston County
NCDOT and the State Highway Patrol held a ribbon cutting for a new state-of-the-art weigh station on Interstate 85 in Gaston County. The new station will help improve traffic flow and safety for truckers and all motorists on this heavily traveled route.
The new station includes offices, a break area, a meeting/training room, vending machines and restrooms for truckers. It also features a longer deceleration lane for exiting the interstate and less incline when returning to I-85, improving safety for all drivers.
The station is also the first in the state to have an indoor inspection building, allowing vehicle inspections to be performed in all weather conditions. Additional technology will allow some tractor-trailers to weigh-in-motion without stopping.