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Groundbreaking today for rail extension

At 10 this morning, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff is scheduled to join Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey and other local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line light rail extension to UNC Charlotte.

The extension will double the length of the existing light rail system, create new development opportunities along the line and significantly expand transit options for thousands of residents and students, transit officials said.

The groundbreaking will be across the street from 9th Street Station, 228 E. 9th St.

Also expected to attend are UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois, Mecklenburg County commissioners Chair Pat Cotham and Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Carolyn Flowers.

The 9.2-mile Lynx extension will connect uptown to NoDa, then run along North Tryon Street before it terminates at UNC Charlotte. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The FTA will spend $580 million for the extension, the Observer has reported. The N.C. Department of Transportation will spend $299 million, or 26 percent, of construction costs.

CATS - using revenue from a half-cent sales tax for transit - will spend $281 million, or 24 percent.

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