LYNX Blue Line Extension: What You Need to Know
This spring, the light rail extension began taking shape in NoDa. Here’s what you need to know about the train that will connect uptown to UNC Charlotte
* 9.3: Miles covered by the extension, making the entire Blue Line nearly 19 miles.
* Scheduled to open in when all sections are complete in 2017.
* Two bridges will be built as part of the 36th Street Station in NoDa: one for the freight lines and one for the light rail line, says Judy Dellert-O’Keef, public relations specialist for the Charlotte Area Transit System. When construction is finished, cars will drive under those bridges.
* This spring, trees and shrubbery were torn down along some of the existing railroad tracks in NoDa to make room for the new light rail tracks.
* Roads closed:
Through fall 2016: 36th St
Through December 2014: Eastway Drive bridge
* Some of the new tracks will run alongside existing rail lines in uptown, through the NoDa area to Old Concord Road. North from there, a new bridge, built specifically for the light rail, will bring the tracks over Old Concord Road and into the median on North Tryon Street. The tracks will continue north along the median past the intersection with W.T. Harris Boulevard, before entering the UNC Charlotte campus, ending at a station near Wallis Hall.
* $1.16 billion: Total cost of the extension (Federal: 50%, State: 25.8%, Local: 24.2%)
Source: Judy Dellert-O’Keef, PR specialist for the Charlotte Area Transit System
*“It cannot be thought of simply as a cost. It will be one of our most important investments.”—UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois, a longtime advocate for the light rail extension, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the project.
* “The @BLEupdates is creating jobs and economic impact and we need more projects like it.”
A March 5 tweet by the Charlotte Area Transit System (@CATSRideTransit) quoting then-Mayor Patrick Cannon about the Lynx Blue Line Extension (@BLEupdates). Cannon has since pleaded guilty to a corruption charge. Among other crimes, prosecutors accused him of accepting a $2,000 bribe from a strip club owner who wanted to keep his business open although it was in the path of the light rail.
* “This is the fulfillment of one part of a major dream that so many of us were a part of.” —Former mayor and current governor Pat McCrory, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the light rail extension last July.