The North Carolina Department of Transportation has announced nearly $11 million in matching grants for short line railroad infrastructure upgrades.

The grants are being awarded as part of NCDOT's Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program. The funding will benefit the North Carolina Ports Authority and 13 short line railroad systems.

Jason Orthner is rail division director for NCDOT. He says the short line railroads are critical to effectively and efficiently getting freight to its destination, and the funding is designed to match private investments from the industries that rely on the rail system.

"Supporting those industries ensures that the railroads can handle heavier loads, more carloads. It reduces the burden on our highways by preserving pavement and reducing traffic due to trucks, because every railcar handles the loads of about three to four trucks," says Orthner.

A portion of the funding will go toward the Yadkin Valley Railroad, which services Surry, Stokes, Forsyth, and Wilkes counties. The money will be used for bridge and mainline track improvements, as well as switch upgrades.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.