The city of Charlotte and the Federal Transit Administration signed a deal Tuesday that commits the federal government to paying for half the construction costs for a $1.16 billion light-rail extension.
The ceremony was held at the old Ninth Street trolley stop, which will become the first new station on the Lynx extension from uptown to the northeast.
The existing Lynx Blue Line runs between Seventh Street Station uptown and I-485 in south Charlotte.
The contract means the FTA will spend $580 million on the new light-rail line. The city of Charlotte and the Charlotte Area Transit System will spend $250 million and the N.C. Department of Transportation will spend $299 million.
The line will connect uptown to UNC Charlotte, with 11 stations.
Construction on the 9.2-mile extension is scheduled to begin in November 2013; it could open as early as 2017.