To provide an alternative transportation option and decrease traffic congestion in an overburdened corridor, the City of Charlotte decided to extend its successful LYNX Blue Line light rail service. Considering the growth of the region, the Charlotte Area Transit System wanted the extension to support the future transportation needs of residents and economic development in the neighborhoods along the service line.

HNTB provided construction management services for the Charlotte Area Transit Systems Blue Line Extension project, which added approximately 9 miles of double-track-light-rail road bed, 11 transit stations, including seven walk-up stations and four stations with park-and-ride facilities, three parking garages, new traction power substations, state-of-the-art communications systems and new central control.

The extension — the biggest transit project in the history of CATS and the region — has artist-designed features at every station, including unique canopies, windscreens, pavement treatments, seating elements and a trio of pedestrian bridges that provide a path to stations where high traffic or railroad tracks interfere with the normal pedestrian access.

Connecting more than 20 miles of the city, the project provides a direct connection from Uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus in 25 minutes and is expected to nearly double 2035 ridership projections. With more than 5,000 new apartments and major commercial developments planned, the LYNX Blue Line Extension is already contributing to economic development along the corridor.

Location: Charlotte, NC

Client: Charlotte Area Transit System

Services: Construction Management