DOT says railroad improvements will shorten traffic commute through Wilmington

DOT says railroad improvements will shorten traffic commute through Wilmington

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Drivers in the Port City could spend less time tied up at railroad crossings if the proposed changes to a resurrected railroad project go through.

Improvements including tie and tracks rehabilitation, improvements to highway grade crossings and safety signaling are planned for approximately 13 miles of rail line in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

Three of 26 railroad crossings in Wilmington could be shut down; The hope for DOT officials is to decrease traffic and wait times due to trains.

“If we make these improvements, not only will we minimize the car, vehicular and rail interaction, we’re also going to have the capability of the trains to increase speed," said Ronald Lucas, project manager. "These trains are only crossing at 10 miles per hour and they can cause a traffic backup. Hopefully this is a win win, not only for the rail riders but the traveler’s safety.”

Dozens of community members were out surveying the maps at the public meeting Monday night to get a feel for where they could be impacted.

The DOT hopes to finish collecting public input by the fall and start construction on the railroads in 2022.

The next public meeting on the possible railroad improvements is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, from 5-7 p.m. at Rachel Freeman School of Engineering in Wilmington.

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