Thursday, January 30, 2014

Charlotte City Council approves streetcar funds; awards Blue Line contract

Charlotte, N.C., City Council approved authorization of $12 million during its January 27 meeting to advance CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 project and stay on track to meet current and future goals.

 

Last year, city council approved two actions to further the progression of CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2. The city manager was authorized to apply for federal grants and loan funding for up to 50 percent of Phase 2 and 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 city local match for the project.

In November, staff submitted a request to enter project development under the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) 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 advancing 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 will fund this work and is necessary to support the future Small Starts grant application. 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 FTA approval to enter project development is received.

The council also awarded Balfour Beatty/Blythe Development (Joint Venture) the low-bid contract of nearly $108 million during the same meeting.

The contract involves civil work for construction of the LYNX Blue Line Extension Segment A, extending from south of 7th Street to south of the proposed Old Concord Road Station. Work includes drainage, erosion control, bridges, arterial roadways, retaining walls, traffic control, traffic signal, water main and sewer instillation and related works.

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