Construction of the light rail on campus. Photo by Aleena Oliveira.

A few projects are presently being undertaken that will affect university traffic in the coming months. Two of the projects being completed are construction to North Tryon Street and construction taking place near the Toby Creek Greenway. Both projects are in preparation of the much awaited light rail system that will soon be serving UNC Charlotte.

“Once the UNC Charlotte Main Station opens, members of the campus community will be able to reach UNC Charlotte Center City in approximately 20 minutes, while avoiding traffic congestion and additional parking costs,” said Shelly Theriault Muhl, communications officer with the Department of Facilities Management, in a press release.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is rebuilding two of the bridges on North Tryon Street closest to its intersection with Mallard Creek Church Road. Construction on North Tryon began last Wednesday, Oct. 15. Students and faculty accessing UNC Charlotte on the southbound portion of North Tryon during this time will have noticed that the southbound lane now ends at the intersection with Mallard Creek Church Road.

This portion of North Tryon Street from the intersection will be closed for construction until around May 2015. As the southbound lane is closed, motorists will need to use available detours on Mallard Creek Church Road, West WT Harris Boulevard and I-85. The northbound lane, however, will remain open until the new bridge for the southbound lane is completed.

In light of the road closures, UNC Charlotte commuters are encouraged to adjust their routes and driving schedules accordingly to accommodate for increased traffic.

Patrons who use the 11U bus are notified that the route servicing UNC Charlotte on North Tryon has  been adjusted to accommodate construction. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) can be contacted for more information on these changes.

The construction of new bridges on North Tryon are part of the preparations for the Light Rail system and its arrival upon UNC Charlotte’s campus. Other construction works are also being undergone to accommodate the light rail. Recently, trees have been removed in front of Miltimore Hall to make way for tracks and the station that will serve UNC Charlotte. This project is being managed by the City of Charlotte Public Transportation Department and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The project to connect the light rail with UNC Charlotte will require a large portion of ground to be elevated to allow for the light rail tracks to be installed. “This will require thousands of truckloads of fill material,” Muhl said.

Muhl also assured that measures to prevent erosion will be taken to reduce the environmental impact of construction.

For further information on these projects, visit inside.uncc.edu.

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