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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FTA OKs CATS' light-rail extension for final design


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has given the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) the green light to enter the final design stage for the 9.3-mile LYNX Blue Line Extension.

The FTA approval allows the project to be developed from the 65 percent to 100 percent design level, and enables the agency to complete preparation of construction plans, right-of-way acquisition, construction cost estimates, bid documents and utility relocation, CATS officials said in a prepared statement.

Entering the final design stage will enable CATS officials to proceed with plans to enter into a full funding grant agreement with the FTA, the point at which the FTA commits to 50 percent funding of the project, said Carolyn Flowers, chief executive officer of the Charlotte, N.C.-based transit agency.

CATS officials hope to receive final FTA approval of federal matching funds before year’s end.

The project calls for extending the LYNX Blue Line light-rail service from Uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus. The extension includes 11 light-rail stations and four parking facilities. Construction is slated to begin in 2013 and operations are scheduled to start in 2017.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/10/2012