Ground breaking for street car line is days away - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Ground breaking for streetcar line is days away

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Ground breaking for Charlotte's street car line is just days away.

Images, maps, and diagrams all lay out what Charlotte's street car project will look like from concept to completion.

Those assigned with the task of building it are expecting surprises along the way once ground is broken.

John Culp is one of the contractors.

"That is the interesting part. You don't know what you're going to find underneath the streets, "Culp said. "Utilities, nobody knows where they are."

For months, rail lines have been forming steel ribbons along Trade Street and Elizabeth Avenue

The heavy metal was inserted with the expectation that rail traffic could one day be reality.

Tonia Wimberly is supervising the project.

She said,"We'll extend those to the west to the Transportation Center and to the east at Hawthorne at Fifth, and we'll also be installing the overhead caternary system that supplies the power to the vehicles."

For Michael Pate, it is walk down memory lane. One stop along the line will come complete with flashbacks and moments of old second ward.

"The images are the only thing that will remind us where we came from,"Pate said.

As the line is expected to expand over time, other neighborhoods continue to wait.

Dianne Adams is with the Belmont Neighborhood Association.

"We've gotten promises from business owners along the corridor already, "Adams said. "They're just waiting for that switch to turn on, and when it turns on they ready to start investing their own dollars to improve the whole corridor."

The  price tag for the first phase of the street car line is 119 million dollars.

City officials will begin work on the project next Wednesday near Presbyterian Hospital.

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