Can’t wait for Blue Line Extension? Watch as it grows

Construction for the 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension light rail project began in January 2014 and is expected to be completed in time for service to begin in 2017. The $1.16 billion project is funded with federal, state and local money.

On June 11, photographer Nancy Pierce documented the huge construction project as it sweeps northeast from uptown to the UNC Charlotte campus. Click through the photo gallery to see the work in progress.

The extension will double the length of the existing Lynx Blue Line, which opened in 2007. The new segment will connect uptown Charlotte at Seventh Street to the 27,000-student UNC Charlotte campus, passing through the popular NoDa neighborhood at North Davidson and 36th streets. When the line is complete a rider could travel from UNC Charlotte to the line’s southern terminus at I-485 just outside Pineville.

One component of the project is the Art-in-Transit program, created through the Federal Transit Administration to encourage a pleasant travel experience. The highly visible concrete walls along the project’s bridges will use cast concrete panels designed by Denver artist Carolyn Braaksma, with images inspired by native N.C. plants. Braaksma is one of 14 artists whose work will be visible along the Blue Line Extension.