Rail Realignment Contract Moves Project Forward

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Apr 21, 2020
Aubrey Parsley, shown last year, is the city of Wilmington’s rail realignment project manager. (File photo)
A potential contract for engineering work on the Wilmington Rail Realignment will narrow down a route and give officials a better idea of the construction costs, said Aubrey Parsley, the city’s director of the project.

A $2.5 million contract to AECOM Technical Services of North Carolina Inc. for professional engineering services will be considered by Wilmington City Council during its meeting Tuesday night, according to a resolution on the city council's agenda.

The contract is also for services pursuant to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the rail realignment project, stated agenda documents.

Should council approve the measure, work within the contract could begin sometime in May, Parsley said.

In June 2019, the project was awarded a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) grant to support environmental studies pursuant to NEPA and preliminary engineering up to 30% design, Parsley said in an email.

The federal award was for up to $2 million. For support with the nonfederal match, the city reached a reimbursement agreement with the N.C. Department of Transporation for up to $500,000, he said.

The $2.5 million professional services agreement with AECOM, if approved by council Tuesday, will cover the environmental and preliminary engineering work under the grant agreement, Parsley said.

It will take several years to complete the pending contract work once the award is approved.

It is estimated that environmental studies, which are conducted in collaboration with several different state and federal agencies, will take two years to complete, Parsley said. It will take an additional year for preliminary engineering, once a preferred route for the project is selected.

Once the contract work is complete, the city will have a good idea of where the rail line would be located, 30% of engineering design plans and a better idea of how much the project will cost, he said.

“It’s too soon to give an overall project timeline,” Parsley said. “Once all this is wrapped up within this contract period, we will certainly be working closely with CSX to determine what agreements would need to be met to move this project forward and also continuing to explore opportunities for partnerships and funding at all levels; federal, state, local and private.”

Previous cost estimates, part of a feasibility study that wrapped in 2017, put the project at about $630 million.

“I think it’s important to note, as it relates to funding, we are keeping an eye on any and all stimulus opportunities here to advance the project forward," Parsley said. "We will see what comes of it. It certainly is a regionally significant project. We’re really excited to advance the work on it.”
Ico insights


Headshot2 3182020512

Save On Cooling/Heating With Dual Zone HVAC Systems

Chris Jones - Green Dot Heating & Air
Aarp suzanneheadshot 300x300

Beware Of Work From Home Scams


The “Law Of Contrast” Propels Entrepreneurship

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Trending News

Dollar General's Urban Market Concept, DGX, Among New Tenants For River Place

Cece Nunn - Jun 30, 2020

Potbelly Sandwich Shop To Open Next Week

Jessica Maurer - Jul 1, 2020

COVID-19 Prompts TekMountain Shift To Virtual Model For Startups

Johanna Cano - Jul 1, 2020

Downtown Alive's First Weekend A Success, Officials Say

Jessica Maurer - Jul 1, 2020

Town Hall Discussion Airs Concerns Over Potential NHRMC Sale

Vicky Janowski - Jun 30, 2020

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell, who is a veteran, speaker and coach with Rob Campbell Leadership, shares his stop tech and info picks....

Hospitality Workers Face Risk

Some service businesses are starting to rehire, but for those in the hospitality industry, numerous challenges remain....

What's Next For Next Glass

Next Glass CEO Trace Smith talks about his goals as the new CEO, how the company has been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`