Raleigh commuter train gets money from infrastructure bill
The commuter train will arrive in the Triangle earlier due to the massive federal infrastructure spending bill, elected officials said Monday at Union Station in downtown Raleigh.
It’s one of many projects North Carolina will see on a faster track due to the bill President Joe Biden is expected to sign soon.
Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over the weekend with bipartisan support, delivering a political victory for the Biden administration and other Democrats. For billions of Americans, that means money for bridges, roads, airports, trains, water systems, and the expansion of broadband Internet. Passing the bill will mean nearly $ 9 billion for North Carolina over the next five years, The News & Observer previously reported.
Rep. Deborah Ross and Rep. David Price were joined by other Democratic and local elected officials in touting the passage of the bill which they described as a “once in a generation” investment.
Price said the bill will “speed up” funding that would otherwise not be available for years. He said the projects that would get the money in North Carolina were already “done in spades.”
âThe only question is how fast we can do it, how fast we can accelerate it. So the impact on jobs will be very visible, I think, in a very short time, âPrice said.
The money going to the state will be used to fund bridges, highways, broadband Internet expansion and water improvements.
North Carolina Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette said the state would work with local metropolitan planning organizations, known as MPO, on planning projects.
Ross, who represents Wake County, said the bill finally brings “America’s aging infrastructure into the 21st century.” She said that although Wake is growing rapidly, “unfortunately our infrastructure has not grown with our community.”
Triangular commuter train
Corey Branch, a member of the Raleigh City Council, said that “the backbone of the Triangle’s transit system will be the Triangle’s largest commuter train line that will stop here at Union Station on its journey between West Durham, Garner and Clayton “.
The GoTriangle and GoRaleigh bus rapid transit system, or BRT, will connect commuter trains and communities, Branch said.
“We are committed to improving the public transport system we have,” and the legislation will modernize the country’s public transport network, he said.
The commuter train is in the feasibility study phase, which will be completed in February or March, Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson said. Next, the leaders of Durham and Wake will begin the process of applying for federal funding.
After that, there will be two more years of design work, he said, and if it stays on schedule, the commuter train could open in 2030.
Station numbers and locations have yet to be approved for a project that executives say will both ease traffic congestion between Durham and Clayton and be an engine of economic development. Plans call for a commuter train line along the North Carolina Railroad Co. corridor that could travel up to 43 miles, with potential stops at NC State University, Cary, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park and downtown Durham.
A previous Triangle transit project, the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project, encountered several obstacles and was finally derailed in March 2019 by Duke University. This project did not include Raleigh.
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