Governor's New Transportation Plan Lacks Rail Improvements for Southeastern NC
Governor Pat McCrory recently unveiled his new transportation plan. As it stands, southeastern North Carolina is not slated to receive funding for rail improvements.
With the wood pellet industry and Vertex Rail coming to Wilmington, train traffic will increase substantially over the next few years. Yet the state is currently not providing funding to help ease the strain of such a rise in activity or address safety conflicts with vehicular traffic.
Councilwoman Laura Padgett says that the city isn’t being totally ignored but is struggling to get attention at the state level:
"In some ways, we fared better than we expected in, overall, the number of projects that we got. But we have been kind of cut out in terms of rail facilities—both for the Port and passenger. So, it’s my understanding that the Governor’s plan takes significant rail improvements and port improvements to the port at Morehead City."
Secretary Tata says that improvements would be made to the North Carolina Rail Line to accommodate Vertex’s tank cars. The list of projects has not yet been finalized, and adjustments to the transportation plan can still be made.