TRANSIT: N.C. $1.2B light-rail project on the move

March 23, 2016

The Charlotte Area Transit System expects to have a new light-rail system completed by August 2017

Construction started in 2014 on a $1.2 billion light-rail project near the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Track work will begin in late May to early June and will run nearly 20 miles once the 9.3-mile extension is open by August 2017

The Blue Line Extension includes 11 new bridges and train stations as well as four park-and-ride facilities. A 340-ft-long underpass, which required 3,000 cu yd of concrete and 652,000 lb of rebar, was built to convey trains.

There will be northbound and southbound trains running concurrently, on separate tracks with peak service trains running every 7.5 minutes.

The city of Charlotte hasn’t approved any other light-rail projects, but there are some plans in the works. There are plans to expand the 1.5-mile streetcar route uptown by 4 miles. In addition, Charlotte Center City Partners, the city and the state continue to discuss a possible 25-mile commuter rail line running from Mooresville to uptown and based in a new Charlotte transit station.

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