Local News

City Council backs route for Raleigh commuter rail

Posted August 2, 2011 5:07 p.m. EDT

— The City Council has rejected a route for a proposed commuter rail line through Raleigh picked by a special panel that studied the issue.

Instead, the council voted Monday to endorse a route along Morgan and Harrington streets west of downtown. Members said it would be less expensive and less intrusive than the route recommended last month by the 11-member Passenger Rail Task Force.

The task force said its favored route, which sent northbound traffic along Wilmington Street and southbound traffic along Salisbury Street, would best serve downtown and state government workers.

Outside of downtown the trains would follow the CSX rail corridor to north Raleigh and the North Carolina Railroad corridor to Cary and Durham. A transit hub, Union Station, has been proposed on West Martin Street.

A $40 million transportation bond issue on the Oct. 11 ballot for voter approval includes $3 million for the Union Station proposal.

The projected cost for the 18-mile commuter rail system, including the route backed by the City Council, is $1.43 billion.

In other business, the council on Tuesday awarded three contracts to build sections of the Neuse River Greenway. The contracts total about $13.8 million and would pay for engineering services and construction of greenway trails from Horseshoe Farm Park, off U.S. Highway 401 and Ligon Mill Road, to Skycrest Drive and from Poole Road to Auburn-Knightdale Road.

The council also reached an agreement with the state Department of Transportation on improved pedestrian crossings on Capital Boulevard at Brentwood Road, Buffaloe and New Hope Church roads, Calvary Drive, Millbrook Road and Spring Forest Road.