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N.C. DOT to hold information workshop on additional railroad track in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg

Staff report
CONCORD óThe N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an information workshop here Aug. 20 on the addition of a second railroad track in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties.The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Old American Legion Hut, 2200 Rocky River Road East.
The state is seeking an estimated $30 million in federal stimulus funds to speed up the addition of tracks and realignment that will allow higher speed trains and improve the flow on one of the busiest sections of rail in the state.
Officials said recently if they are sucessful in getting the stimulus dollars, construction could start in 2010.
The project will replace tracks that were taken up in the 1960s.
State highway officials and representatives of the N.C. Railroad Company will be on hand to answer questions. Maps of the proposed project will be on display.
A similar information session was held in China Grove last month related to changes in the track between Salisbury and Kannapolis in Rowan County. Plans call for replacing nearly 10 miles of tracks on the west side of the existing tracks.
The Department of Transportation proposes to construct an additional railroad track adjacent to the existing track along a 12.2-mile section of the existing track, from south of N.C. 49 (Haydock) to Orr Road in Northeast Charlotte (Junker).
The additional track will improve train travel and minimize congestion on the existing rail that lies between Concord and Charlotte.
The section is the southernmost of three double-track projects proposed between Lexington and Charlotte.
Highway officials also note that minor changes and safety improvement are being considered for the existing track.
Comments taken during the workshop and comments submitted to the Department of Transportation will be considered as the project is refined.
Comments may be submitted up to 30 days following the workshop.
For more information, contact Marc Hamel, NCDOT Rail Division Environmental and Planning Branch at 919-733-7245 ext. 270 or via e-mail at mhamel@ncdot.gov.

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