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blopp1234

Wilmington transportation

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Hi! I'm not from Wilmington but have visited the city since I was young. While driving through recently, I noticed work being done at the end of I-140. Are they finally going to finish it. Also when I went to research it, it talked about their being plans for a cape fear skyway. Any details on either project would be appreciated. Also, let's bring some activity to this forum!!

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There is an interesting project currently being studied in Wilmington that would relocate the freight rail that accesses the port to the opposite side of the Cape Fear river, and eventually repurpose the existing rail lines in Wilmington as a trolley system.

Clearly the rail relocation portion, especially the new bridge over the river, would be costly, but the existing rail line through the city is ridiculous; it basically goes through every in-town neighborhood of Wilmington without so much as a single grade separation.

The trolley conversion idea is somewhere on the line between ambitious and fanciful; seems like a great idea on paper, but making it happen will be difficult given that the corridor is owned by CSX and they won't let it go for a song and a dance, and getting the money to actually build it will be a challenge.

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^ great find and a very interesting idea. A new rail bridge over the CF would certainly cost a fortune, but I could picture the state coughing up a large share of the necessary cash in an effort to make the port of Wilmington more competitive (e.g. faster and more reliable rail connections out). If NCDOT were sensible they would make their contribution contingent upon CSX gifting the state the intown ROW -- I don't think CSX has any local customers on those tracks anymore and its certainly a big maintenance headache.

The transit component cetainly isn't going to get money from the state until we have regime change, but the CSX tacks make up a surprisingly solid network for the city. A few small additions in the center of town and (ultimately) a leg out Kerr and Wrightsville ave to the beach (plus a ferry from downtown near the rail terminal to Carolina Beach) would make Wilmington a very accessible city. Transit (in theory) could be the thing that sets Wilmington apart from its more glamorous cousins in Charleston and Savannah. 

Edited by kermit

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Google maps aerials show at least two active freight customers along the northern leg of the trolley route. I suppose they could be served at night when trolleys aren't running. The idea of trading the new bridge for the old right-of-way does have merit.

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On 12/20/2016 at 8:49 AM, orulz said:

There is an interesting project currently being studied in Wilmington that would relocate the freight rail that accesses the port to the opposite side of the Cape Fear river, and eventually repurpose the existing rail lines in Wilmington as a trolley system.

Clearly the rail relocation portion, especially the new bridge over the river, would be costly, but the existing rail line through the city is ridiculous; it basically goes through every in-town neighborhood of Wilmington without so much as a single grade separation.

The trolley conversion idea is somewhere on the line between ambitious and fanciful; seems like a great idea on paper, but making it happen will be difficult given that the corridor is owned by CSX and they won't let it go for a song and a dance, and getting the money to actually build it will be a challenge.

page1_thumb_1161533438.jpg

This reminds me of a news story back in the late 80's early 90's about moving the state port to Eagle Island.  My opinion is had the city pushed this hard enough up in Rawlee then these hard decision would not have to be made now.  In typical NC fashion the bold and growth-minded vision was shut down for the conservative cost effective plan of just reforming the existing port.  Similar to the defunct super port that was to be built down river.  The impact of moving the state port terminal would have eliminated the need for a rail bridge across a wide river.  I'm no engineer but I do know a rail bridge that has to high enough to accommodate ship traffic has to be heavy, sturdy and cost a bunch.  Instead if the state port was on Eagle Island the rail connections across the Brunswick river could be lower or even filled in depending on the location.  Also, a rail/intermodal yard could have been built along with ample highway connections in Brunswick County prior to the suburban growth there. i am sure in hindsight the location of the state port probably was not the best choice.  Then not to move it or even build better facilities mainland side was even more of a head scratcher.  Oh yeah think of all the prime real estate that could have been reclaimed for commercial use as well.  Just my thoughts.

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