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The project logo P-5748: Helms Road Grade Separation

The project logo P-5748: Helms Road Grade Separation

 

Project Overview:

The N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing rail and roadway improvements in the Helms Road, Tory Path Road, and N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) area in Union County.

The  project proposes to:

  • Construct a rail grade separation in the vicinity of Helms Road

  • Close the existing at-grade crossing at Helms Road 

  • Construct a new roadway connection from the proposed grade separation to N.C. 16 (Providence Road) 

 

In addition, the project will:

  • Construct approximately 4,600 feet of rail siding from east of Hancock Road to west of Hector Road in Lancaster County, S.C.

  • Track improvements and maintenance activities for a portion of the track near downtown Waxhaw, as well as closing the Hector Road railroad crossing.

 

The Helms Road Grade Separation project is Phase II of P-5748. Phase I of P-5748 (Project No. F-14288) proposes to close the existing at grade rail crossing at Tory Path Road and complete an extension of Tory Path to Helms Road on new alignment. More information regarding F-14288 can be found here. 

 

Project Purpose: 

The proposed project will eliminate rail - highway conflicts and improve conditions for motorists and emergency vehicles accessing to and from N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway). Crossings along this rail corridor have experienced blockages by waiting trains. This is predominantly due to the need to make way for some trains to pass while other trains wait on the rail siding track. The existing rail siding is not sufficient to accommodate the length of the trains without blocking crossings.

 

Rail siding extension in the area will reduce rail congestion in the state’s rail network between the Port of Wilmington and Charlotte, resulting in increased rail efficiency, accommodation of future freight growth and improved air quality. This will also aid in keeping standing trains at a safe distance from nearby rail crossings.  The proposed  grade separation and closing of the existing at-grade crossing at Helms Road and Hector Road will also  support the projected long term increases in both vehicular and train traffic in the project study area by providing a highway corridor  that has a free-flow crossing of the CSX rail line.

 

NCDOT began the process of studying the transportation needs in the study area due to the impacts of rail crossing blockages in the area.  Several design alternatives for a new roadway connection from the proposed grade separation to N.C. 16 (Providence Road) have been identified for further study.  The alternatives are presented below and in a newsletter mailed to residents of the area, and are currently being analyzed based on their potential to fulfill the project's purpose while minimizing impacts to the human and natural environment. 

Currently only a portion of the project is funded. The portion of the project from N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) to Waxhaw-Marvin Road is funded by Federal Rail Administration Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements and N.C. State funds.


Vicinity Map:


Study Area Map:

Project Schedule: 

Milestone

Date*

Project Start

January 2019

Project Newsletter

October 2020

Environmental Document / Notification of Preferred Alternative 

December 2020

Begin Right-of-Way 

Spring 2022

Begin Construction

Spring 2023

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change

Project Alternatives:

NCDOT is evaluating two alternatives with varying options and one rail siding extension alternative.  All the alternatives described below include a grade separation at N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway). Existing at-grade crossings proposed for closure include Hector Road and Helms Road.

By clicking on the icon () on the top of the map set below, you will have the option of turning on/off individual alternatives for ease of viewing. (Clicking on the icon a second time will minimize the selection screen) 

 

 

 

Alternative 1, Option A

Construct a grade separated bridge over N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) and extend existing Helms Road east on new location roadway. The new roadway would provide access from N.C. 75 to Waxhaw Marvin Road to Waxhaw Parkway.

A roundabout is included in the design at the intersection of Waxhaw Marvin Road and Helms Road. View/Download Map Here. 

 

Alternative 1, Option B

Construct a grade separated bridge on N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) over the railroad and extend   existing Helms Road east on new location roadway.

This alternative differs slightly from Alternative 1, Option A as it constructs the new location roadway toward the east and includes a loop to access the new roadway.

This alternative would provide access from N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) to Waxhaw Marvin Road to Waxhaw Parkway.

A roundabout is included in the design at intersection of Waxhaw Marvin Road and Helms Road. View/Download Map Here.

 

Alternative 1, Option C

Construct a grade separated bridge on N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) over the railroad and extend existing Helms Road east on new location roadway.

This alternative is similar to the previous alternatives but is located further east. 

This alternative would provide access from N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) to Waxhaw Marvin Road to Waxhaw Parkway.

A roundabout is included in the design at intersection of Waxhaw Marvin Road  and Helms Road. View/Download Map Here.

 

Alternative 2, Option A

Construct a grade separated bridge on N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) over the railroad and will not  included an extension of Helms Road. A new location roadway would be constructed from N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) to Waxhaw Parkway Road.

A roundabout is included in the design at intersection of Waxhaw Marvin Road and Helms Road. View/Download Map Here.

 

Alternative 2, Option B

Construct a grade separated bridge on N.C. 75 (Waxhaw Highway) over the railroad and will not included an extension of Helms Road. A new location roadway would be constructed from N.C. 75 to N.C. 16 (Providence Road).

A roundabout is included in the design at Waxhaw Marvin Road. View/Download Map Here. 

 

Rail Siding Extension

Proposed to be constructed parallel to the existing rail line. It will be approximately 4,660 feet long. The siding will begin in North Carolina, 860 feet from the North and South Carolina border and end 3,800 feet into South Carolina near Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.

This siding extension will allow for stopped trains to move away from the active rail line and prevent rail congestion. View/Download Map Here.

Federal Rail Administration:

NCDOT and the Federal Rail Administration met on September 22, 2020 to discuss the alternatives and impacts to the project study area. As a result of the meeting, Alternative 1, Option C was chosen as the agency proposed preferred alternative. 

This alternative impacts the least streams and wetlands, requires the fewest business relocations, and does not impact either of the unmarked cemeteries. 

After the public comment period, NCDOT will select the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA) to move forward into final design. The preferred alternative will be selected by taking into consideration all stakeholder concerns including public comments, project costs, impacts, and safety.

 

*The preferred alternative will be presented November 2020 through a newsletter and on the project website*


Project Cross Sections:

Proposed Cross Section of Bridge for Each Alternative

 

 

Proposed Cross Section of Roadway for Each Alternative

 

Potential Impacts to Human and Natural Resources for Each Alternative*:

 

Alt. 1, Option A

Alt. 1, Option B

Alt. 1, Option C

Alt. 2, Option A

Alt. 2, Option B

Rail Siding Extension

Residential Relocations

12

8

9

2

1

0

Business Relocations

1

1

0

0

1

0

Disadvantaged Populations

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities

Positive effect

Positive effect

Positive effect

Positive effect

Positive effect

Positive effect

Community Services

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

Protected Species

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

Cultural Resources

1 cemetary

1 cemetary

No effect

1 cemetary

No effect

No effect

Stream (linear feet)

177 ft.

0 ft.

0 ft.

490 ft.

977 ft.

77 ft.

Wetlands (acres)

0 ac.

0 ac.

0 ac.

.10 ac.

.14 ac.

0 ac.

* Impacts to these resources are considered during selection of the preferred alternative

Project Funding:

This project is listed as Project P-5748 in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s State Transportation Improvement Program and is funded for $26.3 million.

 

Alt. 1, Option A

Alt. 1, Option B

Alt. 1, Option C

Alt. 2, Option A

Alt. 2, Option B

Rail Siding Extension

Construction Costs

$16.9m

$15.8m$16.5m$12.3m$15.1m$5.4m

* NCDOT, September 2020. Costs are  preliminary and subject to change. Costs do not include right-of-way or utility costs.

Project Comments:

The comment period has ended.

 

You may leave a comment or question below 

Email the comment or question to helms-rd-waxhaw@publicinput.com 

Phone in a comment or question to 855-925-2801 enter project code 8677 


 

Which Alternative do you prefer?
Alternative 1, Option A
66%
Alternative 1, Option C
22%
Alternative 2, Option B
7%
Alternative 1, Option B
2%
Alternative 2, Option A
2%
Closed to responses | 121 Responses
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Project Contacts:

Anamika Laad, AICP, CTP

NCDOT Rail Project Manager

(919) 707-4705

Teresa Hart, PE, CPM

Consultant Project Manager (JMT)

(984) 269-4918

Project Email Address: [email protected]input.com

Resources for Property Owners 

Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.  

 

Relocation Assistance Brochure                               Asistencia para Reubicación      
Right-of-Way Acquisition Process Brochure             Folleto del Proceso de Adquisición de Bienes Raíces
Right-of-Way Frequently Asked Questions