CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Wednesday, transportation agencies came together in Charlotte to recognize the completion of the Sugar Creek Road bridge, which they hope will improve efficiency, safety and mobility in one of the state’s busiest rail corridors.
The project was one of a series of upgrades along the Raleigh-to-Charlotte section of the North Carolina Railroad Company’s line.
Due to the number of trains and vehicles that use it daily, the Sugar Creek railroad crossing was the busiest in the state. Over 40 Norfolk Southern Railway freight trains and 10 passenger trains pass the through the corridor per day. The bridge will also crosses over the recently completed CATS Blue Line.
“This project is going to improve safety for drivers and those on foot or bicycle, and also help keep traffic and trains moving efficiently through this busy area,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard, who offered remarks during today’s event. “We’re grateful to our partners for investing in North Carolina’s safety and economy.”
A grade separation project puts a bridge in place of a railroad crossing. A grade separation is beneficial for its improved safety by eliminating the possibility of collisions between vehicles and trains, and for the uninterrupted flow of vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
The City of Charlotte, the North Carolina Railroad Company, Norfolk Southern, the Federal Railroad Administration and the N.C. Department of Transportation contributed funds to the project.
“This was the busiest crossing along the 317-mile North Carolina Railroad line, and the positive impact this improvement will have on crossing safety is tremendous,” said Scott Saylor, president of the North Carolina Railroad Company. “We are proud to collaborate with NCDOT on this project, which plays such a significant role in the future capacity needs of freight and Amtrak passenger service.”