Construction on the Blue Line light-rail extension will intensify in early 2014.
CATS officials gave an update during a public workshop Tuesday night in the University area.
What you see now along North Tryon is relocation of utilities. Water, power and sewer lines are being moved away from the edge of the road. John Mrzygod, of the Charlotte’s engineering department, said in a few months it will get intense.
“You’re going to see a lot of orange barrels as the roadway is pushed to the outside to allow for the tracks to go into center,” Mrzygod says.
The Blue Line extension will have 11 station stops from Seventh Street in uptown to UNC Charlotte. And in most places along North Tryon, roads will be widened for tracks to be laid, either in the center of the road or with a bridge.
There will still be two lanes for motor vehicles on both sides of the train tracks, but CATS also will add bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping.
CATS also plans to build skybridges to connect the platforms to parking decks. And getting from one end of the Blue Line – the Interstate-485/South Boulevard stop – to the other at UNC Charlotte will take a total of 47 minutes.
CATS expects more than 25,000 daily riders by 2035.
All the construction that’s about to begin also means drivers will probably be stuck in traffic.
“We’re at 50,000 vehicles a day roughly going down North Tryon, so keeping traffic flowing is going to be challenging,” Mrzygod says.
But he says the city’s priority during construction will be to make sure there is always access to the several hundred businesses along North Tryon during construction.
The Blue Line extension is expected to be complete by 2017.
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