Rail bridge work will close Morrisville Parkway for a week

07/23/2014 5:45 PM

07/23/2014 5:56 PM

Construction on an $18.5 million railroad bridge project will close Morrisville Parkway to all traffic between Crabtree Crossing Parkway and Bristol Creek Drive for a week, starting Monday.

Morrisville Parkway is a divided, four-lane road that handles more than 12,000 cars and trucks each day. It will be closed again to all traffic for about six months in 2015.

The state Department of Transportation is replacing an N.C. Railroad crossing with a bridge to carry trains over Morrisville Parkway. Next week’s closing will continue through Aug. 3, DOT said.

Detours will be marked to guide drivers around the closed roadway via Northwest Cary Parkway, High House Road and Davis Drive. Businesses along the closed portion of the road will still be accessible to motorists.

The rail bridge will eliminate the need to stop traffic on Morrisville Parkway about a dozen times a day. The N.C. Railroad track carries six Amtrak passenger trains and usually about six Norfolk Southern freight trains every day. DOT plans to add daily passenger trains over the coming decade.

The work also includes realignments that will straighten curves on both the tracks and Morrisville Parkway. Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh is doing the roadwork under a $13.6 million DOT contract. Most of the remaining cost is related to 1.5 miles of railroad construction work between Morrisville Carpenter Road and Cary Parkway, to be handled by Norfolk Southern Railroad.

It’s part of a DOT construction program to reduce rail-crossing hazards and improve freight and passenger train service between Raleigh and Charlotte, funded with more than $500 million in federal grants. The proposal to eliminate the train crossing at Morrisville Parkway originally came from Triangle Transit as part of a three-county rail transit plan that was scrapped in 2006.

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