Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Balfour Beatty gets Charlotte streetcar contract

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The Charlotte, N.C. City Council Monday awarded a $26.3 million contract to Atlanta-based Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. and Charlotte-based Blythe Development Co. for the city's first streetcar line of 1.5 miles. The vote was 9-2 in favor, but followed a yearlong dispute over the proposal.

The streetcar route will link the city's Presbyterian Hospital with the Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Transportation Center, the latter two served by the LYNX light rail transit (Blue Line). Construction is slated to begin next year, with revenue operation expected sometime in 2015.

The Federal Transit Administration awarded the project a $25 million grant in 2010. Last September, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood formally awarded Charlotte the grant money. The 1.5-mile line, seen as an initial segment, is expected to cost $37 million.