Charlotte streetcar project to get $75 million federal grant

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte's streetcar line is set to receive a $75 million federal grant.

WBTV's news partners at the Charlotte Observer report that this will help build the next phase of the project. Construction for the 'City LYNX Gold Line - Phase 1' began construction in December 2012.

City leaders said this phase will provide a 1.5-mile route from the Charlotte Transportation Center on Trade Street to Nov ant Hospital at Hawthorne Lane and Fifth Street.

Plans show that the 1.5 mile alignment will have six stops, including a connection to the 'LYNX Blue Line' and will begin service in June of 2015. The estimated cost of Phase 1 is $37 million.

City leaders said Phase 2 extends the Phase 1 streetcar alignment by 2.5 miles on the east and west ends, creating a system that extends four miles.

'City LYNX Gold Line Phase 2' will head west 2 miles from Charlotte Transportation Center to French Street, and east one-half mile along Hawthorne Lane from Nov ant Health to Sunnyside Avenue.

According to project leaders, Phase 2 will serve as an engine for economic growth by providing effective and efficient transit operations, connecting key neighborhoods and maximizing development opportunities. Modern streetcar vehicles will replace replica trolleys with the option of purchasing hybrid technology vehicles.

"We are pleased to learn that funding for the City LYNX Gold Line is included in the President's FY2016 recommended budget," said Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter. "We know the project will be a catalyst for economic development and connect citizens to resources including employment centers, higher education, medical facilities as well as arts and entertainment venues. This reinforces the 2030 Transit Plan the City Council has adopted and moves our community forward in developing a truly multimodal transit system intersecting across the city and county."

CATS anticipates to advance the project as a design, bid, and build project in early 2016. Construction is projected to begin late 2016.

Phase 2 service start date is projected in late 2019.

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