Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Charlotte funds streetcar engineering work

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Charlotte funds streetcar engineering work City of Charlotte, N.C.

Hoping to leverage a local funding commitment to obtain federal funds, Charlotte, N.C. has approved $12 million for engineering work on a 2.5-mile streetcar extension, expected to cost $126 million.

Work on Phase 1 of Charlotte' Gold Line streetcar already is under way.

City Manager Ron Carlee has asserted to local media that Charlotte must commit some of the $63 million in city funds identified for the project in advance of any federal funding, to demonstrate to the Federal Transit Administration that Charlotte is committed to the plan. Carlee says Charlotte already has employed this approach in advancing its initial Lynx Blue Line light rail transit line, as well as the Blue Line extension to University City, now ongoing.

Last year Charlotte failed to capture any FTA Small Starts funding for the streetcar route, but the city plans to apply again for a grant in federal fiscal year 2015.