Public, Private Funds In Place To Start I-277 Pedestrian Bridge
Charlotte Center City Partners says public and private funding is now in place to begin work on a long-discussed $11.5 million pedestrian bridge over Interstate 277 that would connect uptown with South End.
That news came at a press conference Wednesday in South End, where officials announced that US Bank has made a $1 million donation as the project's lead sponsor. Other money will come from a collection of public and private sources, including the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the state Department of Transportation.
Last year, City Council approved an agreement for the public/private partnership. In May, the council approved $1.2 million in design funding.
Charlotte Center City Partners says design work will begin later this year on the bridge that will carry the Charlotte Rail Trail. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2021.
“Bridging the gap between uptown and South End will provide additional connectivity for residents, workers and guests, while further knitting together two of our great urban neighborhoods,” Michael J. Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, said in a press release.
The rail trail runs along the Lynx Blue Line light rail through South End. But it stops just south of the I-277 loop. That leaves pedestrians and bicyclists to negotiate around sidewalks, stairs and vehicle traffic to make their way into the center city.