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Blue Line extension resolution to be considered by Charlotte City Council

CHARLOTTE — The Lynx Blue Line extension project will take one step closer to completion Monday if the City Council supports a resolution to accept up to $580 million in federal funds for the project.

If the resolution is adopted, City Manager Curt Walton will have the go-ahead to sign an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Under that agreement, the city would commit to chipping in roughly $290 million, or 25 percent of the project’s $1.16 billion costs.

Judy Dellert-O’Keef, spokeswoman for the Charlotte Area Transit System, said the city expects to raise the 25 percent from CATS sales tax revenues.

Plans call for the federal government to cover 50 percent of the costs of the project to extend the Blue Line from uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

But the federal government’s portion is not a given, Dellert-O’Keef said.

“If this resolution passes it doesn’t guarantee that $580 million from the federal government,” she said. “This just allows the city manager to enter into a contract with the federal government.”

The city already has an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which is expected to contribute 25 percent of the project’s costs.

Dellert-O’Keef said the city still has to wait for the federal transportation department to approve the contract for the Blue Line extension funding. But, she said, officials in Washington have already reviewed the project’s plans.

The city expects to know the U.S. DOT’s decision on the contract by the end of this month.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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