Federal grant will aid in Wilmington freight expansion, rail realignment projects

Federal grant will aid in Wilmington freight expansion, rail realignment projects

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced nearly $37 million in federal grants that will help expand freight rail service from Charlotte to the Port of Wilmington, and aid in the city’s proposed rail realignment project.

Most of the grant money from the USDOT will fund freight rail expansion between the two cities as well as rehabilitation of railroad bridges across the Cape Fear River and improvements to 33 railroad crossings.

Included in that nearly $37 million total is a $2 million grant to fund preliminary engineering and environmental review for a proposal to shift freight rail outside of Wilmington’s urban core.

This $2 million grant is not part of the Federal Railway Administration grant that the city learned last week it was receiving.

“The city and council have shown great forward-thinking, energy and gumption in moving this project forward which happens to benefit all of Southeastern NC. Both projects will help move freight from the Port of WIlmington to Charlotte,” said Laura Padgett, a former Wilmington City Council member and the coordinator of the realignment project.

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