Durham-Orange light-rail project to be expanded

The transport authority in North Carolina, GoTriangle, is studying how to add a 19th station to the 28.5 km Durham-Orange light rail line project in front of the Durham Perfoming Arts Center, project manager Danny Rogers said. A similar “City Center station” plan was suggested years ago but didn’t make the draft plan, because it wasn’t expected to get enough riders to offset its construction cost. But the newly suggested Blackwell Mangum Station, estimated at USD 2.5 million, could be added to the existing budget by saving money elsewhere.
The Durham and Orange county commissioners, the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro regional planning group and the GoTriangle Board of Directors will make the final decision to add another station to the light rail project.
The USD 2.5 billion Durham-Orange light rail route would connect UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with Duke and N.C. Central universities in Durham. The plan for the Durham-Orange light rail line received FTA approval in July to move into engineering. But FTA noted that GoTriangle’s financial outlook in particular needs more work before the plan gets its final evaluation. The final federal decision on providing half of the project’s construction cost is expected by 2020. GoTriangle could submit the final application for state funding approval in June 2019.

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