Contract awarded for Charlotte streetcar project

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte city council has awarded a $26.3 million contract to Atlanta-based Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. and Charlotte-based Blythe Development Co. for the city’s first streetcar line. The contract vote was 9-2 in favor, but followed a yearlong dispute over the proposed 1.5-mile line.

The streetcar route will link the city’s Presbyterian Hospital with the Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Transportation Center, which is served by the LYNX light rail Blue Line. Construction will begin next year, with revenue operation expected sometime in 2015.

The Federal Transit Administration awarded the project a $25 million grant in 2010. Last September, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood formally awarded Charlotte the grant money. The line is expected to cost $37 million.
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