Charlotte City Council has approved $249.8m for the construction of Charlotte Area Transit System’s LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) and Blue Line Capacity project.

Lane Construction has been awarded a $119m contract, which includes the provision of civil construction services for the BLE from Old Concord Road to the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Contracted work includes building bridges, arterial roadways and retaining walls; creation of erosion control; sewer and water main installation and drainage; and traffic signals and traffic control.

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure will install light-rail track, train control and signal systems, communications systems, and overhead catenary and traction-power systems on BLE, under a $130.8m contract.

The remaining $16.4m will be invested in the expansion of platforms and systems on the current LYNX BLE.

Following the expansion, the platforms will have required capacity to accommodate three-car trains at the Interstate 485/South Boulevard, Stonewall and Seventh Street stations, while end track at the I-485 station will be able to store the three-car trains.

In addition, communications, power, train control and signal systems will be upgraded.

The LYNX light-rail line will be extended 9.3 miles from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus, and include 11 stations and four parking facilities, under BLE.

The line is expected to become operational in spring 2017.

Image: 7th Street Station on the LYNX light rail line in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: courtesy of Justin Ruckman.