Silver Line project, Monroe Expressway to be discussed Wednesday

Transportation leaders to get a look at light rail plan between uptown and Matthews

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte area transportation leaders will meet Wednesday night to discuss the Silver Line project that would run from uptown Charlotte through Matthews.

CATS recently completed a study of the project and transportation leaders will go over that study Wednesday night.

The light rail line would run along Independence Boulevard and cut over to Monroe Road, then through Matthews and out to CPCC.

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Officials said the study and Wednesday's discussion are the first steps in a series of phases.

The exact route to Matthews has not yet been identified, and leaders also have to figure out how the rail comes into uptown, which would be expensive.

The Blue Line extension cost about $129 million per mile. Based off those numbers, the Silver Line could cost about $1.7 billion, and it might be 20 to 30 years before anyone even gets to ride it.

Transportation leaders will also vote Wednesday night on funding for the Monroe Expressway, which is already under construction.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said that the 20-mile bypass will run from U.S. 74 north of Monroe and will connect again with U.S. 74 outside of Marshville.

It's a several hundred million dollar project and leaders will vote to approve $280 million in bonds and loans to help fund it.

The expressway is expected to be completed by 2018.

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