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8/10/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Charlotte light-rail line planners obtain $11.5 million FTA grant



Although Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century reauthorization legislation remains stalled in Congress, a federal agency continues to issue grants to help at least a few light-rail projects move forward. Yesterday, the Federal Transit Administration announced it released an $11.5 million grant to Charlotte, N.C., to help fund planning and design for the South Corridor Light Rail Project.

City planners will use proceeds to prepare final construction plans, detailed specifications, cost estimates and bid documents for a 9.6-mile line linking Charlotte's central business district to Interstate 485 near the state line bordering South Carolina. Projected to be completed in 2006 and average 17,000 riders daily, the line will parallel Interstate 77 and South Boulevard, which become congested during peak traffic hours.

The project includes 15 stations, including facilities at the Charlotte Convention Center and Ericsson Stadium. Seven stations will provide connections to local and express bus services, and access to 3,600 parking spaces.


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