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1/29/2014



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Charlotte officials OK $12 million in engineering work for Gold Line extension


The Charlotte City Council has approved the authorization of $12 million to help advance the Charlotte Area Transit System's (CATS) second phase of the CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 project, CATS officials announced yesterday.

The city's approval will enable the agency to keep the 2.5-mile streetcar extension project on track to meet current and future goals, including the possibility of receiving Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approval to apply for a Small Smarts grant, CATS officials said in a press release.

In 2013, the council approved two actions to advance the proposed project. The city manager was authorized to apply for federal grants and loan funding for up to 50 percent of Phase 2's cost and the city adopted a budget ordinance to allocate $63 million in existing General Community Investment Pay-As-You-Go and Municipal Debt Service Funds to provide a 50 percent local match for the project, CATS officials said.
 
In November, agency staff submitted a request to enter project development into the Small Starts grant program with an anticipated response in the near future. Upon FTA approval, the city will be authorized to advance work on Phase 2, which includes progressing design to the 65 percent level, vehicle engineering, preparation of land use and economic development reports and preparation of a financial plan. The $12 million, which will fund that work, is necessary to support the future Small Starts grant application, CATS officials said.

Any local funds spent will be eligible for future reimbursement upon the execution of a Small Starts grant agreement. No contracts will be executed until the FTA approval to enter project development is received.

Also yesterday, the City Council approved an award to the Balfour Beatty/Blyth Development joint venture for the low-bid contract of $107,967,958 for civil work construction of the LYNX Blue Line Extension segment that will extend from south of 7th Street to south of the proposed Old Concord Road Station. The work will include drainage, erosion control, bridges, arterial roadways, retaining walls, traffic control, traffic signal, and water main and sewer installation.

In November 2013, the city publicly advertised the project for bids, and four bids were later received.



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