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Charlotte Area

Charlotte City Council To Vote On Lower Price Tag For Streetcar Expansion

The Gold Line phase 2 project adds stops west of uptown and east of the current terminus at Hawthorne Avenue and Fifth Street.

Charlotte City Council will vote on big-ticket items Monday for the next phase of the streetcar, also known as the Gold Line. The price tag has lowered substantially after the city rejected initial bids, negotiated and made adjustments.

The second phase of Charlotte's streetcar will add 2.5 miles, including to Johnson C. Smith University. The initial construction bids were at least 30 percent over budget, so city staff rejected them in July.

They began negotiations to find ways to bring down the price, like giving construction crews more room to work and separating items that smaller contractors could do for less. Now council members will vote on a construction contract that's within 1 percent of budget. They'll also vote on replacing the old-timey streetcars with a sleek, modern version that can go off wire.  

In addition, council will vote on the city's piece of an incentives package to Snyder's-Lance. The snack giant is planning to expand its Charlotte headquarters, creating 130 new jobs. And council members will vote on minor changes to Charlotte's light rail extension (called the Blue Line) and electrical upgrades at the Charlotte airport.