Anthony Foxx visits light rail extension

Former mayor and current Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made a stop in Charlotte to see the light rail's progress.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was in town surveying the progress of the Blue Line extension on Tuesday.

The light rail currently runs through SouthEnd to uptown, but by next summer, it's expected to go all the way to UNC-Charlotte. Businesses along the track, are anxiously awaiting the finished product.

Foxx is excited to see this vision coming to life.

"The fact that this project has actually happened is a minor miracle given the economic conditions we faced at the time," Foxx said.

He says the effort could create an estimated 60,000 jobs for the area. Along North Tryon near UNC-Charlotte, you see the detail that's been put into the project. The Blue Line Extension goes above the street and underground, with the construction project connecting the city from top to bottom.

But, years of construction have been felt by area businesses like Games Workshop.

"There have been some days where people just haven't been able to get into the plaza," Chuck Burgess said. 

Burgess tries to warn people on Facebook about the construction.

"I've been able to give people a head's up about lane closures and things like that," Burgess said. "But even then, people say, 'Well, I'm just not going to bother coming in then.'"

Still, their location is prime -- right next to a massive parking garage at one of the Blue Line stops. For now, it's just about waiting a little longer for business to potentially boom.

"We've got a few guys that come up from Rock Hill; I'm sure it would be really nice for them to not drive the whole way," Burgess said. "It's going to be good, that's the hope, that we are going to get a lot more foot traffic through here."

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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