Saturday, September 30, 2023

Public meetings announced for NCDOT’s $41 million Navassa-Wilmington rail improvements

The CSX rail line connecting Navassa and downtown Wilmington is due for improvements in 2022-2023. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy NCDOT)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation will host a pair of public meetings in Wilmington to share maps and plans regardings its planned $41.4 million rail improvement project between Navassa and Wilmington.

With 13 miles and two river crossings, the “Wilmington Beltline” project includes improvements to highway crossings, curve and switch operations, and tie and track rehabilitation of CSX’s existing rail line.

Related: The latest on Wilmington rail realignment: federal grant, environmental study, rail bridge option

The project is being designed to improve traffic flow at rail crossings and increase use of the rail, according to NCDOT.

According to NCDOT’s most recent State Transportation Improvement Plan, the project is fully approved for funding. NCDOT’s project timeline shows environmental documents are due this year, with right-of-way acquisitions beginning in 2021. Construction will take place between 2022-2023.

Public meetings

NCDOT is collecting public input on the proposed plans through March 10. Add a public comment to NCDOT’s project comment online (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Two public hearings will take place in Wilmington early next week:

Monday, Feb. 24
St. Andrew-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
Rachel Freeman School of Engineering in Wilmington
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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