The Fayetteville (NC) Observer:
$10 million awarded to repair damaged railroad track
WHITEVILLE - State Department of Transportation officials have awarded $10 million to repair railroad track damaged by Hurricane Matthew.
Three Cape Fear region counties will benefit from the Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program, a release from the highway department said.
Columbus County will receive $7.3 million to help return a section of rail service between Chadbourn and Whiteville. It also will pay for upgrades to tracks from Chadbourn to Tabor City and into South Carolina, where the R.J. Corman Railroad line connects to the national rail system.
Another $393,594 will go to Cumberland and Hoke counties for construction of a transload facility and track improvements along an eight-mile stretch in both counties.
The Corman railroad lines from Columbus County into South Carolina have been idled since the Oct. 8 hurricane, said Bill Henderson, vice president of Sales and Marketing for the railroad.
"We expect to be operational from Mullins to Chadbourn by the middle of next week," Henderson said. "The week after that, from Chadbourn to Tabor City and on into South Carolina."
Henderson said the grant compliments $9.7 million in federal funding through the TIGER program.
"We're in the job creation business," Henderson said. "This is a big stepping stone towards creating jobs, attracting business. This will allow us to further upgrade the rail line, to do work in areas not covered by the TIGER grant."