Our project, for which Dr. Charles Warren partnered with Gateway Planning and GoTriangle, made a splash in North Carolina! Durham-Orange light-rail ‘in rare company,’ planner says: https://bit.ly/2KYhQPz
Durham-Orange light-rail 'in rare company,' planner says. But $57M gap remains.
By Tammy Grubb Updated June 22, 2018 9:43 PM
Elected officials learned more Thursday about the financial challenges facing the Durham-Orange light-rail project, but also about the benefits it could deliver.
Scott Polikov, a consultant and founder of Gateway Planning, sought to reassure Durham and Orange county commissioners about the federal funding prospects. The planning for walkable light-rail station development and maximum community benefits already is paid with a $2.1 million Federal Transit Administration grant, he said.
“Doesn’t it say something that this FTA grant [for station development] was awarded under a prior administration, and you all moved into final engineering under this administration?” Polikov said. “You’re in rare company. You’ve been basically endorsed by both recent presidential administrations and the FTA. That’s a big deal.”
Thursday’s meeting came as GoTriangle and the Durham and Orange county commissioners await Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature on a state “technical corrections” bill, which will change the language of a state budget bill passed earlier this month.
The budget bill required the project to have federal funding before it could get state funds, although federal rules require the project first to have state funding. The Catch-22 risked ending the light rail project, which is now in the final engineering phase.
The 17.7-mile line would cost $2.47 billion to build and connect UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with Duke and N.C. Central universities in Durham. Another $890 million in local money would pay the interest on debt.
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