Charlotte City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a $94.1 million construction contract with Johnson Bros. Construction to build the second phase of the streetcar.
The city had hoped to award the contract earlier this year, but the two bids received exceeded the city’s budget for construction work – one by more than 30 percent and one by nearly 40 percent.
After that, the city re-bid the contract and scaled back some of the work.
The project will extend the current 1.5-mile streetcar line by 2.5 miles – to Johnson C. Smith University to the west and to Sunnyside Avenue to the east.
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The contractor will install rails in the streets, as well as an overhead catenary wire to power the train.
The contract also calls for replacing the Hawthorne Lane bridge over Independence Boulevard. The existing bridge isn’t strong enough to handle the weight of 100,000-pound streetcars.
The contract also calls for some non-streetcar-related work.
Johnson Bros. will install decorative street lighting along West Trade Street and Beatties Ford Road from Interstate 77 to French Street. In addition, the contractor will realign Frazier Avenue slightly to the north, so the city can create a four-way signalized intersection at Wesley Heights Way, Frazier Avenue and Trade Street.
The project must be finished by August 2020.
Council members are also scheduled to vote Monday on buying six modern streetcars for the second phase of the line. The Charlotte Area Transit System has proposed buying the Siemens S70 vehicles for $40.4 million.
They will replace the green and yellow replica streetcars being used today.
The total cost of the Gold Line’s second phase is $150 million, which includes construction, vehicles, real estate acquisition and other costs.
The federal government has agreed to pay for $75 million of the construction costs. The city plans to pay the other $75 million with money from the general fund budget. CATS isn’t paying for the project.
The city’s contract with the federal government calls for the project to be finished by August 2020.