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Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


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That's the kicker, even a paltry billion of that... I'm guessing the CSAs of San Fran and Oakland probably total about that of all of NC, but not recalling any 6.4 billion project of ours, and is the other half estimated even higher?  Anyway, sure there are stats/facts out there to make me retract this, but wow.

Only 1.5 million less than all NC (don't forget San Jose)

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Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

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That's the kicker, even a paltry billion of that... I'm guessing the CSAs of San Fran and Oakland probably total about that of all of NC, but not recalling any 6.4 billion project of ours, and is the other half estimated even higher?  Anyway, sure there are stats/facts out there to make me retract this, but wow.

I'm guessing they look more at the economic tax implications of NOT fixing that bridge. I imagine that the mentioned CSA's federal tax contribution is orders of magnitude more than all of NC. 

 

But still....for just one bridge... damn.

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Cooper River is in 2001-2005 dollars.   That brings it to $850m+ in 2014 or 2015 dollars.  You also have a much higher cost of living in SF Bay, so higher prices throughout that regional economy.   Then, I suspect that building a span into an existing bridge is probably higher than the costs of a totally new bridge, and other factors.

 

The federal government takes in the higher taxes from areas like SF and NYC, but still needs to put infrastructure back into those places, which sometimes has shockingly high pricetags to people like us living in the hinterlands.

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Its not really news but utility relocation along the BLE between 7th st and the 11th st overpass has fenced off the track area and some grading has been completed to make it look like the BLE will be finished any minute. (I know it will not be until 2017 but its very exciting to see tangible progress).

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You should take a trip to the University area, they have done quite a bit of work on both sides of the road north and south of Harris. Just about every tree and sign is gone. They have built a retaining wall in front of Showmars, and there is a contractor staging area at the site of the JW Clay parking garage. 

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Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but CATS has a Facebook page for the Blue Line Extension updates. There are some renderings that some of us may or may not of seen before along with a few construction photos of what I guess you would consider more prep work/utility relo before they start clearing paths and laying track. We'll probably see more updates come 2014, but this shows that work is progressing: https://www.facebook.com/CatsBlueLineExtensionUpdates

Edited by wend28
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I'm guessing they look more at the economic tax implications of NOT fixing that bridge. I imagine that the mentioned CSA's federal tax contribution is orders of magnitude more than all of NC. 

 

But still....for just one bridge... damn.

 

Another key difference is that the bridge is for cars. Transit may be a part of it too, but its a car bridge first. Nobody questions ridiculous costs and budget overruns when the end result is something for cars. See the Big Dig in Boston, or NCDOT's "urban loop fund" to build beltways for all large cities in North Carolina.

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Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but CATS has a Facebook page for the Blue Line Extension updates. There are some renderings that some of us may or may not of seen before along with a few construction photos of what I guess you would consider more prep work/utility relo before they start clearing paths and laying track. We'll probably see more updates come 2014, but this shows that work is progressing: https://www.facebook.com/CatsBlueLineExtensionUpdates

I'm confused by their WT Harris Renderings.  It seems less like a rendering of WT Harris crossing/station than of a bridge that would be on North Tryon and eventually cross WT Harris (not nearly the same thing) as a WT Harris rendering. 

Am I looking at it wrong?   :dontknow: 

1426711_241716009313423_1459696191_n.jpg

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Like the video as well though really, really, really wish they didn't use the one shot of campus by the library/career center when there was the public art of domestic violence sayings on shirts - without knowing the context it looks like UNC Charlotte/mobile home park on laundry day.

 

It starts around 2:35

Edited by Urbanity
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^Somewhat related to your question  I just got an email reply today from the city in regards to my raised issue about no pedestrian crosslight at Tryon/WT Harris and asking if it would be impossible to have it done before all BLE work is done. I expected the answer to be no, and that was pretty much confirmed.  

 

It provided little information and only general large umbrella chunks of time.  Anyway - for the record here is the 311 reply which I credit for getting back to me fairly quickly and attempting to do some research on their own as well.

 



Thank you for contacting CDOT about your concerns regarding pedestrians at the intersection of N Tryon St and Harris Bv.  I am not directly involved with the Blue Line Extension (BLE) project, so I reached out to some people who are more familiar with the project, what it will bring to the area and a loose timeframe of when to expect improvements in the area.  Speaking specifically about your request for pedestrian crossing upgrades at this intersection, CDOT will not make any changes prior to the BLE construction.   We attempt to be good stewards of citizen’s money.  Therefore, we would not spend a substantial amount of money at this intersection with an upcoming project that would destroy our work and subsequently force us to spend money to do the work over (this statement comes from our Traffic Signal Systems manager).  Below is an outline of the BLE schedule.  Work has already begun in the area with utility relocation, and it’s likely that construction at the Harris/Tryon intersection would begin before CDOT would be able to get out there to make any improvements. 

 

The latest BLE schedule shows light rail revenue service beginning late March of 2017.  This is the date when all construction should be complete.  Because of its scope and complexity, the overall BLE project is being constructed in several different packages (e.g., advanced utilities, civil & roadway, track & systems, park & ride lots, etc…) and these packages have their own start and finish date.  Listed below are three of the construction packages that probably will be most noticed by the general public. 

 

·         Advanced utilities – work already underway, completion expected last quarter of 2014

·         Construction of light rail elements – expected start date of January 2014, completion by December of 2016

·         Construction of roadway - expected start date of January 2014, completion by February 2017

 

In regards to the Harris/Tryon intersection, we don’t know at this time when construction will be started/completed.  We only know the overall time frame as outlined above for the construction package.  The contractor(s) will largely determine when work is done in the area.  So, while the completion date for all roadway work is February 2017, work at this intersection could be done sooner.  When complete, this intersection will have pedestrian signals, crosswalks and median refuge islands.  A considerable amount of work is needed to provide pedestrian accommodations prior to the BLE work, and it’s likely that most of this work would be torn out when N. Tryon is widened to provide space for the light rail. 

 

EDIT:  I did reply and asked if she would forward a suggestion that CATS place on its website an area by area timetable for work so that local residents who would be affected would have some idea of the "when" in their neighborhood.

Edited by Urbanity
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Am I understanding the page correctly re: 36th Street Station?  Sounds like they are going to lower 36th underneath both Lynx AND the frieght line.  Meaning there would be no road crossings until Sugar Creek once Craighead closes.  

I think the 36th St Station will be elevated, not at grade level.

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REALLY!? Anyone have renderings of that. I personally hate elevated trains, but I feel like it'd be cool that close to downtown Noda.

I don't remember seeing a rendering but I remember a PDF that showed elevations the length of the BLE under the overhead map.  I think the actual station platform extended over 36th st.

 

Edit:

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/planning/BLE/overview/Documents/2012%2012%20-%20LYNX%20BLE%20Project%20Layout%20Map-A.pdf

 

Pretty sure this was it, but for some reason the bottom half (elevation) has been cut off or for some reason won't load. Hmm???

Edited by MilZ
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