LYNX Blue Line Extension

Charlotte, North Carolina

Connecting uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina

HNTB was the construction manager for the Charlotte Area Transit System’s Blue Line Extension. The project extended approximately 9 miles and consist 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. Total project cost was $1.1 billion, with 50 percent federal, 25 percent state and 25 percent local funding.

Most of the alignment is at-grade; however, there are separations of major streets, environmental features and railroad tracks. All remaining alignment roadway crossings are at-grade with appropriate crossing protection. The project 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 interfered with the normal pedestrian access.

The LYNX Blue Line Extension connects 20 miles of the city. The project, expected to nearly double 2035 ridership projections, provides a direct connection from Uptown Charlotte to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus in 2225 minutes. It is the biggest transit project in the history of CATS and the region.

The Blue Line Extension is already contributing economic development along the corridor with more than 5,000 new apartments being built, planned or already completed along the path of the new light rail. There are major commercial developments planned or under construction near most of the stations on the new alignment.