CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) determined the LYNX Blue Line Extension will not open in August 2017 as previously communicated – it will open in March 2018.
Officials said the updated schedule is due to construction coordination challenges and remaining system integration testing, vehicle testing, signalization testing and safety reviews.
The BLE project remains under budget and any additional costs due to schedule lengthening will not increase the original $1.16 billion budget, CATS said.
Although the new opening date for the LYNX BLE service is March 31, 2018, CATS said they’re committed to working with contractors to identify any time-saving activities that will allow the system to open earlier than March 2018, a requirement of the Federal Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
With 91 percent of construction complete, businesses along the alignment will see less and less lane closures, CATS said. Access to businesses along the alignment will continue to be maintained as the final steps of the project are completed.
Pelican's SnoBalls, is located near the construction project. A new wall that's been built as part of the light rail is a road block for the business.
"If you’re on the opposite side of the road now, there’s a light rail there so you can’t see our building from that side of the road, so that will definitely affect us a little bit," said Pelican's manager, Caleb Clayton-Molby.
For more information on the BLE project, please click here!