CATS construction manager explains why Lynx Blue Line is still closed after Hurricane Michael

Blue Line damage causing major headaches

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The light rail section that runs through uptown between the Scaleybark and Sugar Creek Stations is closed while construction continues to repair lines after Hurricane Michael caused damage.

The Lynx connector bus bridge allows people to ride buses to the stops the train does not go to. It is an added step to the commute for many people that they would rather do without.

CATS Maintenance of Way Manager Stephen Newcomb says a tree uprooted and fell onto the overhead catenary system near 12th St.

"It was probably the worst place a tree could have fallen because it has overlapping wire systems," Newcomb said.

It affected 3,500 feet of wire in one direction and 2,500 feet in the other direction.

"Each of these various hangers and cantalievers all the way up and down the alignment that run about every hundred feet, we have to replace basically all of those," Newcomb said.

He said they brought in construction crews from Colorado and San Francisco to help with the extensive repairs.

In the meantime it’s affecting people’s commutes. One person chose to drive to work after realizing he’d have to take the bus uptown.

Another person told LYNX the bus made her late for work. She later left the Scaleybark station in a LYNX car.

Others are choosing to see the bright side. For one woman it wasn’t just her commute that took a hit by the storm.

"A tree just fell on top of my house," Danielle Johnson said.

No one was home so thankfully no one was hurt, but she's not sweating the extra minutes added to her morning.

"It's OK because they're still providing me a way to get to work," Johnson said.

CATS also added Express buses to help during rush hour in the mornings and evenings.

Newcomb says making sure the trains run safely is their number one priority. They hope to be back up and running by October 25.

“We won’t allow our system to open up until it’s safe,” Newcomb said.

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