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The Blue Line to Cosumnes River College (CRC) Light Rail Extension, also known as the South Line Phase 2 project, was built by the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) in the US.
It is a 4.3 miles (6.92km) extension from the existing terminus at Meadowview Road to Cosumnes River College.
Construction began in 2011 and the extension was officially opened in August 2015. The project added four new light rail stations at Morrison Creek, Franklin, Center Parkway and Cosumnes River College, and also involved the construction of two new light rail bridges.
The new light rail line extension project with a new transit centre at CRC station provides commuters with an alternative to Highway 99 and minimises congestion on Interstate 5. The extended line is expected to provide about 11,270 average weekday trips by 2030. The project created 1,700 new jobs and improves air quality in the region.
Blue Line light rail extension project background
LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) is a 9.3m (14.9km) light rail project in Charlotte, North Carolina, US.
RT circulated the final draft environment document for the project in October 2008 and a record of decision (ROD) was obtained in December 2008. Preliminary engineering was completed in 2009.
RT received a letter of no prejudice (LONP) for the construction of Cosumnes River College Station parking structure in September 2011 and started the construction of the facility in November 2011.
The LONP for the construction of the two light rail bridges was granted in April 2012, and construction began a month later.
The light rail extension project entered the final design phase in May 2012 and received the full funding grant agreement (FFGA) from the federal government in January 2012, leading to the starting of construction activity for the civil, track section and stations in August 2013.
Blue Line light rail extension infrastructure and construction
The CRC Station parking structure was opened in June 2013. The five-level, four-storey parking structure includes a garage with more than 2,700 parking spaces for CRC students and RT light rail passengers. It features solar photovoltaic panels on the roof and electric vehicle charging stations.
Two light rail bridges (aerial structures) were constructed at Cosumnes River Boulevard and in the Morrison Creek area. The bridge over the Morrison Creek is 1,317ft-long and 32ft-wide, and has a maximum span of 175ft, while the other aerial structure over Cosumnes River Boulevard is 945ft-long and 32ft-wide, and has a maximum span of 165ft.
Each of the four stations features side platforms, one for boarding inbound trains and the other for boarding outbound trains. Passenger shelters with a minimum width of 14ft are located in each station.
Each of the four stations also features a mini-high platform at the front-end for providing easy access to mobility-impaired passengers, fare vending equipment, drought-resistant landscaping, facilities, including RT standard benches, trash containers, bicycle racks and lockers, and drinking fountains. Two electronic message display signs were placed on each platform. LED lighting and parking areas are also common to all stations.
Rolling stock for Blue Line railway
Siemens was awarded a contract in August 2012 to refurbish 21 high-floor light rail vehicles (LRVs), which RT acquired from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in 2003. The LRVs, built by Urban Transportation Development (UTDC) in 1987, were upgraded to meet the current operating requirements and extend their service life by 15 years.
Financing for Sacramento light rail extension
The total estimated investment for the construction of the extension line is $270m. The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) contributed about 50% of the project cost by offering funding under its New Starts programme. The FTA announced the $135m funding agreement in January 2013. The rest of the funding was secured through state and local sources.
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