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North Corridor Rail Demonstration Project Proposed

Iredell Encouraged to Plan for Light Rail Extension
Citizens for Efficient Mass Transit ( CEMT ) is encouraging Mooresville and Iredell County interests to do proactive planning on the extension of the North Corridor transit line beyond Mooresville. CEMT believes the line should be extended all the way to Statesville within the next 10 years. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is on record favoring extension to Statesville. DOT has already helped the city move the historic train station so that it is now oriented toward the track that once served Charlotte. In its Western North Carolina inter-city rail service plans DOT anticipates cross platform transfers for trains to and from Asheville there. Plans also call for station and parking lot expansion, and track platforms to handle inter-city and regional traffic. Planning to date has the commuter/regional rail line ending in the vicinity of NC 150.

NC DOT strongly favors creation of a park and ride lot on the east side of I-77, and use of the MAP Act to protect the corridor. A former rail right of way exists along NC 115/US 21 between Mooresville and I-77. Currently there is no heavy encroachment upon the right of way. CEMT believes the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) should encourage Iredell County and it's towns to call upon NC DOT to explore state and federal funding possibilities.

These studies would be conducted through the Public Transportation Division and Rail Division, and should get underway as soon as possible. DOT would have to be requested to invoke the MAP Act which would freeze any development along the former rail right of way for three years. This would provide sufficient time to examine the possibility of bringing this segment on line at the same time, or shortly after institution of the Charlotte-Mooresville service. The MAP Act mechanism can be used under the authority of the state at no monetary cost to the localities.

Just recently Lowes announced a 70 million dollar investment along the line near Mooresville adding one thousand jobs.

February, 2001