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Charlotte transit agency delays light-rail extension opening

The delay is the result of construction coordination challenges, CATS officials say.
Photo – Charlotte Area Transit System

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has pushed the opening date of the LYNX Blue Line light-rail extension to March, 31, 2018.

The extension initially was slated to open in August this year.

The delay is due to construction coordination challenges, remaining testing of system integration and signalization, and safety reviews, CATS officials said in a press release.

The project remains under budget, and any costs incurred due to the new schedule won't increase the original $1.16 billion budget, according to the agency.

Further, CATS pledged to work with contractors to find ways to open the extension earlier than March 2018. Under the project's Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, the line must open in March 2018.

CATS leaders have pursued "every available option of schedule compression" to deliver the project by August 2017, agency officials said.

Ninety-one percent of construction for the project has been completed.

The 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension will run from 7th Street in Charlotte's Center City to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/2/2017