• Streetcar expansion project closes busy intersection in heart of uptown

    By: Anthony Kustura

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Phase two of the Gold Line construction is underway in uptown Charlotte for the next week as crews install additional tracks.

    It’s a multi-million dollar project that’s been in the works since 2017.

    The streetcar previously ran a mile and a half from Hawthorne Street, west to the Charlotte Transportation Center.

    The expansion will now extend the line another 2.5-miles west to Johnson C. Smith University.

    [ALSO READ: Transit system reveals sneak peek of new streetcar interior]

    Trade and Tryon streets are located in the heart of uptown. Nearly 25,000 pedestrians pass through every day, not to mention the thousands of cars, so the traffic impact is expected to be heavy.

    There are three main sections that will be impacted by the construction.

    The West End segment already closed sections of Beatties Ford Road from south of Brookshire through the five points intersection. 

    The uptown stretch of Trade Street from Interstate 77 through the new closure at Trade and Tryon streets.

    And, the Hawthorne segment which includes the embattled Hawthorne Lane Bridge on the other end of phase one.

    Traffic Team 9’s Mark Taylor said we’ll see overflow traffic on 4th and 5th streets.

    [ALSO READ: Hawthorne Lane Bridge construction to resume as more businesses close]

    And, while some drivers may use Church Street, there’s construction in that area as well.

    “You’ve got so much going on in that certain section of uptown Charlotte between the Gold Line and some of the other construction projects, that it’s going to add some added overflow issues to those secondary surface roads,” Taylor said.

    The project is expected to wrap up by late next year, and some travelers told us the change will be welcome.

    “It’s part of the growing pains, and we just have to get used to it but it’s going to help us a lot,” Shelton Brown said. "I will definitely be using the Gold Line because it will allow me to move a little more freely.”

    Trade and Tryon will reopen November 26.

    It will then close again from Dec. 2-5 and Dec. 9-22.

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