Transit Planning
Wednesday, April 16, 2014                                                           
Charlotte City Council approved authorization of $249.8 million for construction of LYNX Blue Line Extension and Blue Line Capacity Project
LYNX Blue Line Extension Construction
The approved $119 million   contract covers civil construction for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Old Concord Road to the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Lane Construction Corporation, the lowest responsive bidder, was awarded the contract. The bid is within the project budget and does not change the anticipated cost of the project, which is $1.16 billion.
Work included in this contract includes building bridges, arterial roadways and retaining walls. It also contains the creation of erosion control, sewer and water main installation and drainage.  Traffic signals and traffic control are contained in this contract.
The 9.3 mile 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.  The line is scheduled to begin operations in Sprig 2017.
LYNX Blue Line Extension Track and Systems; Blue Line Capacity Project
The approved $130.8 million for these two projects involves track and system construction for the BLE at $114 million. Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. was the low bidder and is responsible for the installation of the light rail track, train control and signal systems, communications systems and overhead catenary and traction power system.
The remaining $16.4 million of this contract will towards the expansion of platforms and systems on the current LYNX Blue Line. Platforms will be expanded to accommodate three-car trains at the I-485/South Blvd., Stonewall and Seventh Street Stations. Upgrades will also be made to the communications, power, train control and signal systems to run the longer train. The end track at the I-485 station will be extended to store the three-car trains during large ridership special events.
CATS and the City of Charlotte received an $18 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III (TIGER III) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to assist with the capacity enhancements along the LYNX Blue Line.
Daily ridership on the BLE is estimated to be 18,000 when operations begin in 2017. That is in addition to the 16,000 daily riders on the LYNX Blue Line today. The completion of the BLE will give Charlotte more than 18 miles of rapid transit in the city. To learn more about CATS and its mass transit plans, visit www.ridetransit.org or contact CATS Customer Service at 704-336-7433.