July 10, 2012

CATS approved to begin final rail design

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to enter Final Design for the 9.3-mile LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) light rail project.

This allows the project to be developed from the 65% to the 100% design level and complete preparation of final construction plans, right-of-way acquisition, construction cost estimates, bid documents and utility relocation.

Entry into Final Design allows CATS to proceed with plans to enter into a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA, the point at which FTA commits to 50% funding for the project. CATS hopes to receive FTA approval of federal matching funds later this year.

The BLE extends the LYNX Blue Line light rail service from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus and includes 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities. All stations will be serviced by CATS' network of feeder buses. Construction of the BLE is scheduled to begin in late 2013. The line is projected to begin operations in 2017. 

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