"Reaching this important milestone indicates the depth of support and commitment for the BLE among local, state, and federal officials who have worked tirelessly for this project on behalf of our community," CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers told local media.
CATS hopes to receive FTA approval of federal matching funds later this year, which would provide 50% of the capital cost of the project. North Carolina's Department of Transportation is expected to cover 25% of the total cost, recently estimated at around $1 billion.
The Blue Line extension would run from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus, adding 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities to the existing 9.6-mile, 15-station line. Construction is targeted to begin late next year, with revenue operation commencing in 2017.