North Carolina Piedmont Improvement Program

PIP Logo


In January 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was awarded federal funding for railroad projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This funding was awarded to NCDOT for the purposes of improving safety and efficiency of the rail system, as well as providing business opportunity and job retention/creation.  This funding provides an opportunity for North Carolina to modernize some of its key railroad corridors and services.  NCDOT is working with the North Carolina Railroad Company, Norfolk Southern Railway, CSX Transportation, and many cities and communities along the railroad to successfully complete these important projects by early 2017, in accordance with the funding requirements.

What is the scope of the funding?

The projects under the Piedmont Improvement Program include approximately 14 highway overpasses and underpasses of the railroad, approximately 30 miles of railroad roadbed grading and structures projects, and railroad track and signal projects.   There are also rail equipment improvements, passenger station improvements, and equipment maintenance facility improvements included in the program.

For more information on the projects, click here to download a brief fact sheet.   

How will the projects be advertised and bid?

Many projects will be advertised and bid through the standard NCDOT letting process.  These projects include the highway improvements, and railroad grading and structure projects. (Click here for more information). Railroad track and signal projects will be let by the railroads.  In general, project contracts will be let in accordance with the following:

  • Grading Projects (including track roadbed) – Central Let, NCDOT
  • Roadway and Structure Projects – Central Let or Division Let, NCDOT
  • Track Projects (ballast up) – Advertised and Let by Norfolk Southern (NSR)
  • Railroad Signal Contracts - Advertised and Let by Norfolk Southern (NSR)
  • Railroad “Live Track” and “Live” Signal Tasks – Not contracted, NSR Forces

In consideration of the safety and maintenance responsibilities of the Railroads, not all projects awarded ARRA funding will provide opportunity for open bidding.  A number of project tasks will need to be performed by Railroad Forces. 

Will there be any special terms or stipulations associated with these contracts?

All contractors and subcontractors will join NCDOT and NSR in the commitment to prepare project reporting specific to the ARRA funding and the type of work.  At a minimum, reporting will include standard Federal project reporting and Monthly Employment Data Reporting Summaries (FHWA-1589).  Buy America requirements will apply to all projects. Please also visit the Safety & Security tab to view requirements.

How does our company qualify to bid on NCDOT contracts?

In order to submit bids for NCDOT contracts, Prime Contractors must be prequalified and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) must be certified in NC at the time of bid opening.  All contractor licenses must be obtained prior to execution of contracts with NCDOT.