What is the proposed Silver Line light rail extension?

What is the proposed Silver Line light rail extension?

The Lynx Silver Line,
as I’m sure you know, is one of the most ambitious projects
that will ever be pursued by the city. It’s nearly three times longer
than the Blue Line Extension. So the Silver Line is about 26 miles long,
the Blue Line Extension, the most recent project,
is a little over 9. So it’s three times longer
than the Blue Line Extension. Could have up to 28 proposed stations, many of them with parking facilities,
as well as a vehicle maintenance facility. And the MTC has taken a couple actions
over the last couple years to update the corridor plan. [BLANK_AUDIO] This map highlights the Silver Line. It’s actually a combination of what
we call the Southeast Corridor or the Independence Corridor, as well as
the West Corridor or Airport Corridor. So instead of tackling these
as two separate projects, they’ve been combined
into this one project. You can see it starts
down in the southeast, down by Stallings,
Indian Trail, and Matthews, comes up the Monroe Independence Corridor
into downtown. And then out to the west
serving the airport, and then over to Belmont in Union County. So it encompasses three counties. The initial funding amount is gonna be 50
million, which is in our CAT’s budget, and that’ll carry us through a good bit
of the pre-project development.>>So it will take 50 million to get
through the first couple of stages there. But I’m assuming that a 26 mile
project is a roughly $3 billion proposition based on
the Blue Line Extension. Is that reasonable?>>How much did you say?>>3 billion.>>Yeah, well again, we’re at very low level conceptual
design on the Silver Line currently. That’s why our next best cost
estimate is gonna come at 15% and then it’ll continue to go and as I-
>>No, I get all that but we can’t commit to $50 million on
speculation about how we’re going to kinda convert that investment into some sort of,
what assumptions are you making about the amount of federal funding that we’ll
get as a result of the federal process?>>Well, for this early design,
this 50 million, we’re assuming zero federal participation.>>No, I’m saying there’s got
to be a number like 3 billion, which is how much this whole thing costs.>>I think it’s 50%, the infrastructure, I think, John, is what I-
>>Well, we’ve achieved 50% on both of our
projects, recent conversations, currently. Other locations have been 40% federal,
so that->>I know, and there have been questions about whether
the old funding model was still going to be available. There are questions about what
Raleigh’s prepared to do. And we’ve been asking, I’ve been asking
this question for a couple of years. And now we’re at the point where we’re
actually going to spend $50 million and we still haven’t addressed the issue
of what the big picture solution for funding this looks like.>>While it does sound logical that what
you spent on the Blue Line Extension, we should multiply by the number of miles,
it doesn’t always work like that because situations on each corridor
is very different. And so
we may not really know what that number is unless we go through
this preliminary study. So once we have this predevelopment and
we get to about 25, 30% design, it will give us some numbers in terms of
capital numbers of what that will cost. But it still will not be the number. We still have to get all
the way to about 65% at some point before you can actually say this is
a reliable number, that you can actually know what that percentage will be,
whether you’re getting 50, 60, or 40% from the federal government,
and what our share will be. But once we have a 30%,
or almost 30% number, it fair to say that that’s
something that you can begin to consider taking to
the public at that point in time. It’s very hard for us in our position to
say something is going to cost 3 billion because you really don’t know. There could be fatal flaws along this
corridor, there could be crossings, there could be grade separations. It’s just so
many other things that this study will help us to begin to identify
what that eventual cost might be. [BLANK_AUDIO]

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.