NC DOT unveils plans for new train crossing in north Charlotte

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Transportation has major plans for a new train crossing into Charlotte.

Officials want to build a bridge at the crossing on Sugar Creek Road near North Tryon Street so traffic can go above the tracks.

Transportation officials expect daily train traffic to double over the next two decades and that is not even counting the Lynx Blue Line trains that will start running soon.

It will be a long and expansive project that some business owners are dreading.

Officials said it is the busiest train crossing in the state. Since 1987 there have been seven wrecks involving trains, cars and people.

In 2017 the Blue Line extension will bring a rail car every 10 minutes during peak hours.

By 2035 long distance passenger and freight traffic should double to almost 90 trains per day.

Vehicle traffic on Sugar Creek Road could hit 29,000 cars per day.

So DOT officials plan to build a bridge in April 2015 to take cars up and over the tracks.

Officials will close the crossing a block away at Craighead Road.

The plan has a downside for some nearby residents.

Designs of the bridge will be long and wide, using land where some homes and businesses are located.

One business owner told Channel 9 they will have to move. Others are still waiting to see what happens.       

Restaurant owner Bill Belizrimis has a different concern – that the construction taking up to three years will drive away his customers.

“Now with construction going on, I don’t know. I believe it’s going to hurt me,” Belizrimis said.

He plans to be at the upcoming public hearing to learn more about the project.

The public hearing is Monday at the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church at the corner of Sugar Creek Road and North Tryon Street.

The meeting is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.