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Excellence in Highway Design

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Category 7 - Intermodal Transportation Facilities

Award of Excellence

LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Station at I-485/South Boulevard
Charlotte, North Carolina

Photo of construction of multi-level parking structure.Aerial view of the finished parking structure, the top of which has become a grass playing field for the neighboring school.

The LYNX Blue Line, North Carolina's first light rail line, opened on November 24, 2007. This dual-track light rail line stretches 9.6 miles from I-485 at U.S. 521 (South Boulevard) to Seventh Street in Charlotte's urban core. The alignment of the light rail, next to the Norfolk Southern Railroad main line, allowed limited access for potential end-of-the-line stations and made site selection difficult and costly. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) owned an unusable remnant of land adjacent to Sterling Elementary School. CATS proposed a win-win solution: a joint-use facility on the site. CATS would construct a 1,100-space parking deck that would be capped by a playing field on the deck's rooftop for the school's students. This design blends the deck into the environment, and eases congestion by taking more than 1,100 vehicles off of I-77 during rush hour.

Designer: Neighboring Concepts, Charlotte, NC
Contractor: Crowder Construction Company, Charlotte, NC
Owner: City of Charlotte, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), Charlotte, NC

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Michael Matzke
Office of Program Administration
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Updated: 04/08/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration