November 2018 Project Update

In October, the Town installed end-of-roadway barricades and signs to mark Carpenter Fire Station Road SR1624 as a permanent railroad crossing closure.

Western Cary CFSR

September 2018 Project Update

O’Kelly Chapel Road Railroad Crossing was opened to traffic.


  • An at-grade railroad crossing at O’Kelly Chapel Road, located east of N.C. 55, is open to traffic. This CSX Transportation railroad crossing is part of a project by a private developer to extend O’Kelly Chapel Road to Research Triangle Park. 

Existing Carpenter Fire Station Road closed to through traffic.

West Cary


  • CSX Railroad completed the removal of the at-grade surface crossing on August 10.
  • Duke Energy, Town of Cary, Time Warner Cable/Spectrum and Google Fiber continue to perform utility relocations on the closed section of Carpenter Fire Station Road.
  • Verizon has completed their utility relocation work along the CSX Railroad at Carpenter Fire Station Road.
  • Turnout work will be completed mid-September.
  • Town Traffic Engineering Staff continue to monitor traffic flow and adjust traffic signal timing along the NC 55 corridor from Morrisville Parkway to O'Kelly Chapel Road due to the Carpenter Fire Station Road closure.

Western Cary

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O'Kelly Chapel Road Extension and Little Drive from CSX Railroad to Davis Drive in Research Triangle Park.

CSX has completed all railroad signal work and track work for the new roadway crossing and assigned a crossing inventory number.

Western Cary 3

Paving and remaining site work to open the railroad crossing to through traffic is anticipated to be complete mid-September.

Western Cary 4

NCDOT maintains the existing segment of Little Drive in Research Triangle Park from the new railroad crossing to Davis Drive. NCDOT plans to install new traffic control devices an pavement markings along this segment and they expect to complete their work and approve the opening of the new railroad crossing by October.

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July 2018

On July 11, the Town of Cary and CSX Railroad permanently closed Carpenter Fire Station Road at the existing railroad crossing just east of NC 55.

Cary is taking the lead to adjust the existing traffic signals along NC 55 at Morrisville-Carpenter Rd/Indian Wells Rd and at Carpenter Fire Station Road to address the new traffic pattern for the new route detour.

This effort is required prior to bidding the new grade separation project and opening of O'Kelly Chapel Road at Parkside Town Commons (O'Kelly Chapel Rd.) new at-grade railroad crossing via a Crossing Consolidation Agreement with CSX, NCDOT Rail Division and Town of Cary.

Town staff will continue to adjust traffic signal timing to address changes in traffic flow along the closure and alternate routes. Below is a picture taken the week of July 16, 2018 of current traffic flow conditions.

western cary

Additionally, CSX installed rubber flange materials at O'Kelly Chapel Road on July 14 to allow paving work to commence to finish the new at-grade railroad crossing linking O'Kelly Chapel Road to Little Drive in Research Triangle Park. The work that remains is paving, final pavement markings, right-of-way dedication between developer and CSX, signage, clean up and minor crossing gate work by CSX. Staff anticipates a September 2018 opening. Staff is working closely with the developer Kite Realty Group on the work that remains by CSX and opening of O'Kelly Chapel Road.

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Project Summary

The Town of Cary has permanently closed the at-grade railroad crossing at Carpenter Fire Station Road, east of NC 55, per agreement with CSX Transportation and the N.C. Department of Transportation. Drivers can still access the Morrisville Carpenter Road at-grade crossing to the south. In conjunction, a private developer has extended O'Kelly Chapel Road from N.C. 55 to Little Drive, with a new at-grade crossing.

While the at-grade crossing closure at Carpenter Fire Station Road is permanent, the Town plans to open the route again via a new roadway under the railroad line as part of an associated realignment and grade separation project with CSX. Cary will realign Carpenter Fire Station Road from N.C. 55 to Morrisville Carpenter Road, west of Louis Stephens Drive, creating a four-lane, median-divided street. When completed, the project will provide additional capacity and increased safety for drivers. 

Project Schedule (Revised November 2018)

  • Begin construction of CSX at-grade O'Kelly Chapel Road railroad crossing - Fall 2017
  • Permanent closure of CSX at-grade Carpenter Fire Station Road railroad crossing  - Summer 2018 
  • Complete construction of CSX at-grade O'Kelly Chapel Road railroad crossing - Late Summer 2018
  • Open O'Kelly Chapel Road and Little Drive to through traffic between NC 55 and Davis Drive in Research Triangle Park - October 2018
  • Begin construction of the Carpenter Fire Station Road Bridge and Intersection Improvements project - Spring 2019
  • Complete construction of the Carpenter Fire Station Road Bridge and Intersection Improvements project – Fall 2022
  • Permanent closure of CSX at-grade Morrisville Carpenter Road railroad crossing – Winter 2022


Robert E. Shultes
Transportation Engineer
(919) 380-4104