dubone

Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements

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http://www.bytrain.org/istation/icharlotte.html

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/R...tation/Home.htm

Charlotte Gateway Station has been referenced in other threads over the years of planning, but we are now very close to its development, which is independent from any other project, such as the North commuter line, so it is worth discussing progress in its own thread.

Charlotte historically had a train depot on West Trade, but with the decline of passenger rail travel, the station was eventually demolished, and replaced by a very cheap station near the freight yards on North Tryon. In order to create more options for transfers to other modes of travel, and support a station within walking distance of the Charlotte's Central Business District, CATS, Greyhound, Amtrak, and NCDOT have partnered to create a new station on West Trade on the site of the current Greyhound depot.

The first phase will see the building of a new Greyhound depot that will be tied in with the eventual project. It will primarily be a parking deck with a well designed facade. It will go on half of a block between 3rd and 4th along the railroad tracks.

The Charlotte Transportation Center has outgrown its capacity, with 45k riders per day. Some of that will be alleviated by the light rail, some will be alleviated by the regional business centers in Eastland, Southpark, and Beatties Ford. However, by creating new downtown capacity for CATS busses at Gateway Station, CATS will be able to spread out some of their operations.

The design of the stations will provide retail, a plaza above the bus area, and footprints for 2 office towers. One of the office towers will be used by the state to replace the Polk State office building. CATS has pursued using some of the space to consolidate some departments spread throughout the city, although that decision is not firm. They will let a private developer build an office building on the other foot print, closer to 4th and Graham, to help increase the jobs directly adjacent to the station.

gatewaystationimage.jpg

The primary purpose of this station will be to serve the railroad corridor running just west of Graham Street. Amtrak will use these tracks as part of their intercity passenger rail service. The rail service is being improved by NCDOT throughout the Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte corridor, with the intent to be competitive with driving. This is part of the larger iniative to create high speed rail services between DC and Charlotte as an extension to the existing Boston-DC high speed services. A future extension to Atlanta will be a second phase, but is being planned as part the station design.

http://www.bytrain.org/track/

http://www.bytrain.org/highspeed/

Although the North Commuter line (Lynx Purple line) is not a necessary component of the Gateway Station, the existance of the Gateway Station will create a natural terminus point downtown for that line. Much of the past discussion of Gateway Station has been in the North line thread:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/CATS-Nor...Rail-t5058.html

As the Gateway Station will require an increase in the number of tracks running on that corridor downtown, NCDOT plans to relocate the ADM flour mill that sits adjacent to Brookshire Freeway behind Graham and Seaboard Streets.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/Archer-D...-Fl-t28949.html

Much of the funding from NCDOT starts to come through this year and next year for Charlotte's Gateway Station. Almost $90m will come from NCDOT over the next two years.

http://www.ncdot.org/planning/development/...s/pdf/div10.pdf

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Much of the funding from NCDOT starts to come through this year and next year for Charlotte's Gateway Station. Almost $90m will come from NCDOT over the next two years.

http://www.ncdot.org/planning/development/...s/pdf/div10.pdf

Seems that (if I'm reading this correctly) $50 million of the money for the Charlotte Gateway Station will come from a federal earmark, $38 million will come from local sources (transit tax?), and a whopping 1.3 million comes from the DOT.

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Seems that (if I'm reading this correctly) $50 million of the money for the Charlotte Gateway Station will come from a federal earmark, $38 million will come from local sources (transit tax?), and a whopping 1.3 million comes from the DOT.

That's because the DOT is investing so much money into the high speed rail transit that will connect to the station.

right?

...right?

Oh bother.

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Seems that (if I'm reading this correctly) $50 million of the money for the Charlotte Gateway Station will come from a federal earmark, $38 million will come from local sources (transit tax?), and a whopping 1.3 million comes from the DOT.
Indeed. Basically it won't be built anytime soon unless the N. CR line is approved. Without that, then this project might not see the light of day for years.

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Actually, the Gateway Station is a separate project from the North Commuter line and while there might be some political and technical links between the two, there are many more reasons to complete the Gateway station beyond the North line. It will almost certainly continue even if the North line is delayed or canceled.

I had not fully noticed that the state was not contributing much to this station. Perhaps they are getting some credit in the deal by paying for a lot of the trackwork and the past land purchases.

Still, the fact that the local and federal funding are lining up in budgets to come in the next 2 years, speaks volumes that this is still likely on track to be under construction in 2010.

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...

Still, the fact that the local and federal funding are lining up in budgets to come in the next 2 years, speaks volumes that this is still likely on track to be under construction in 2010.

??! What federal bill has the $50M earmark?

As far as I know, there is no funding from anywhere set aside for this project. If the the CR line does get built then that plan includes paying for a portion of the station. As far as the rest of it goes, I see it unlikely that the Feds are going to earmark $50M for a new Amtrak station for Charlotte given the huge Federal debt that has been run up in the past few years, and the Feds marked turn against transit. The democrats may seize control of the federal goverment, and they are more transit friendly than the GOP, but they have no money. $1 Trillion debt to fight in Iraq (along with trillions more debt) has broken the back of the federal government. (though nobody will admit it)

On the local front, I don't see $32M coming from local sources to pay for a downtown rail station that doesn't have CR in it because otherwise that is a federal and state responsibility. So unless the CR line is built, then I would say the project is indefinitely stalled.

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??! What federal bill has the $50M earmark?

It is a FTA Section 5309 Bus Facilities Earmark. Since this is bus-related, rather than rail-related, I assume the federal money will be used for the construction of the local and/or intercity bus facilities on site. It seems that the accepted procedure for allocating these funds is congressional earmarks. Intercity buses will be located south of 4th, and local/commuter buses will go underground between Trade and 4th, beneath the plaza. The federal money for Gateway is apparently earmarked in 2009, though, so that earmark could potentially get axed between now and then.

If I were to guess, the $30 million in local funds allocated for 2008 are probably for engineering/architecture/design services. The federal money in 2009 would most likely be used for actual construction of the bus-related sections of the facility.

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Just looking at the actual station itself and ignoring the track improvments there has been $6.4M spent on Planning and design already. $5M of that came from the Feds.

This is the year they are hoping to start construction on the new Greyhound (intercity) bus station across 4th St from the current bus station. The cost of that project is about $6M with most of that coming from Federal Funds.

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It is a FTA Section 5309 Bus Facilities Earmark. Since this is bus-related, rather than rail-related, I assume the federal money will be used for the construction of the local and/or intercity bus facilities on site. ....
Yeah that is a program, but my question is what federal bill has the actual $50M earmark in it?

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Not sure. Googling isn't helping me to find it.

The $6m earmark that uptownliving refers to was in the 2005 authorization of the SAFETEA-LU act.

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Not sure. Googling isn't helping me to find it......
Most likely because it doesn't exist. Earmarks, which are highly controversial now and a nicer way to say Pork spending, don't exist except in current spending bills.

I really don't think the capital money to build this station, at least nothing anywhere close to the $200M estimated for the project is anywhere close to being approved. If they approve the N CR project then some money will free up to build that portion.

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Keep in mind NCDOT has spent a considerable amount of money acquiring the ~30 acres for the project, so it may very well be that expense represents the majority of the state's financial contribution (not sure). I do know that the project is planned to move forward, even if the north line is not built as currently planned. As previously mentioned, it's a viable, needed project even if just for the intercity rail station and a new CATS bus facility.

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If the money isn't there for the buildings and the bus depots and the plaza, then it certainly wouldn't be there if the N line were funded completely. The North line does not include much funds for what most people think of as the station. It is pretty much covering some trackwork and a platform on the opposite side of the other tracks from the rest of the station.

If the earmarks somehow don't come as expected (unlikely that they'd be cut), then the plans and this thread can sit on the shelves for a few more years. I'm just going by what is projected out in the deliverable section of the TIP. If it changes, it changes.

As others have said, this project is easily segmented, and could be built in phases. The Greyhound station quite easily is its own component, the CATS bus depot is critical for the main block, as it is under the rest of the project. The office towers can be built up or left as just building-ready foundations, the plaza is just a green roof over the bus station, and the track platforms can be done whenever. Obviously key components need to be coordinated, but okay.

I didn't create this thread to announce imminent construction, I was creating a place to discuss the progress we expect in the next couple years, and where we can discuss non-progress if some of the plans falter.

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Anyone know where we stand with the Gateway Intermodal Station?? I haven't heard anyone

discussing this in some time.....is it dead or still alive but on-hold? I believe this was a necessary

component of the proposed super-rail to D.C., right?

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Anyone know where we stand with the Gateway Intermodal Station?? I haven't heard anyone

discussing this in some time.....is it dead or still alive but on-hold? I believe this was a necessary

component of the proposed super-rail to D.C., right?

Neither, it's still moving forward (slowly). I believe it's in some prelim stages still.

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.... I believe this was a necessary

component of the proposed super-rail to D.C., right?

Right now there are only two plans on the books for this station in regards to rail. First it is supposed to be the terminus for the planned North commuter rail line. It is starting to look very unlikely this rail line will be built. The second plan is that it will be the replacement for the old 1960s Amtrak station on N. Tryon. The plan is to move the station to part of GW station. I believe it is actually the NCDOT that is funding this portion mostly due to the activity related to the two state funded train lines, The Carolinian and The Piedmont. I have no idea where this currently stands.

The station will also serve as a replacement bus station for Greyhound and possibly CATS will use it for buses too. This part would be built and paid by the entities above in return for Greyhound surrendering the land. There may also be taxi service. So basically this portion depends upon the Amtrak station being built.

The city also had plans to construct an office building as part of the station. It would be my guess this part isn't going to be built now. Those plans were announced before we had an economic collapse of real estate.

I think that covers it. The station was planned so each portion, office tower, Amtrak platform & Greyhound station, CR platform and office tower, can be built independently from each other. It's assumed if the CLT to DC high speed rail is built, then it would simply use the Amtrak station. It could use the station on N. Tryon so there is no requirement for Gateway station for it to be implemented. Keep in mind the current plan on the books, High Speed means trains that go 110 mph instead of 70 mph.

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Did MTC quietly adopt a new System Plan? According to this regional body, North Corridor is officially the next rapid transit line to be built.

Granted, a much scaled-back terminal is now planned. Basically, not much more than what you see on the Blue Line at CTC/Arena.

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I was REALLY disappointed to find out that the plan to use Obama Stimulus money to kickstart the construction of the new Greyhound facility has fallen apart due to slow negotiations to purchase the existing Greyhound facilty on Trade St. NCDOT could not wait around forever since the funds have to be used by March 2010. So instead of the money going to the new Charlotte Greyhound facility it will go towards purchasing 10 new MCI D4505 Bueses to be used by Greyhound on North Carolina routes.

Damn you to hell for whoever is responsible for this missed oppurtunity.

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Wow, that is horrifying. Why on earth does NCDOT STILL NOT CONTROL that land. They have been planning for a station on that site for a long time now.

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Isn't this what eminent domain is for?

Raleigh was negotiating for years for some easments for a greenway, including one through Meredith College. Some federal grant became available for greenway construction, but the negotiations were moving slowly as always. Rather than lose the federal money, they used condemnation in order to make the deadline. Basically, take the property now, let the negotiations happen after the fact in the courts.

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I'm currently confused on whether Gateway station is funded or not. While I know that the stimulus did not funded the portion of projects that includes Gateway Station, it appears that the $52m budget for it is entirely funded in fiscal year 2009 in the TIP. So perhaps they were simply trying to get stimulus funds so they could reallocate what they already budgeted for. But regardless, it should be fully funded so it could come online with the track work that the stimulus pays for.

Hopefully someone can clarify.

(pg 33): http://www.ncdot.gov/planning/development/TIP/TIP/Trans/pdf/div10.pdf

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Partially funded: in the STIP you'll notice the largest funding source is "FBUS" which is basically Federal Money. So far I think about $23M in Federal Money has been allocated for Gateway Station. So another $20M or so and we'll be there.

Edited by uptownliving

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Partially funded: in the STIP you'll notice the largest funding source is "FBUS" which is basically Federal Money. So far I think about $23M in Federal Money has been allocated for Gateway Station. So another $20M or so and we'll be there.

Hey that's good news. Thanks so much Uptown and Dubone (and Orulz too), you guys seem to know how to wade through all this gov. stuff pretty well. I appreciate you digging and translating.

I wish someone who got paid for this (Observer?) would break this thing down for us soon. I'd like to see exactly where the money is going.

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