Railroad drainage project ‘dead in the water’

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The hopes that CSX Railroad would have financed installation of a 48-inch culvert under the railroad in the area of South Center and Williamson streets to eliminate flooding in that area leaves the town of Mount Olive with a “dead in the water issue.”

Cost for the project would have been an estimated $563,000, an amount town officials say they simply cannot afford.

Railroad authorities notified the town several weeks ago that it will not finance the project, but did say they will allow the town to do the work under railroad supervision.

The flooding issue in the south end of Mount Olive continues to be a major concern.

Officials say the railroad serves as somewhat of a dam and is preventing heavy rainfall waters from flowing to drainage outlets on the west side of town.

It causes water to back up on the east side of the railroad track, according to town leaders.

Town Manager Charles Brown said at this time there are no options except to keep searching for a way to fund the project.

“We have been bogged down for a long time in trying to find monies to fix our problems at the wastewater treatment plant. There is only so much money out there, so right now it is a project at a standstill,” Brown said.

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