CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mayor Vi Lyles defended the Charlotte Area Transit System and its problem-plagued Gold Line Streetcar project and the Blue Line Extension.
NBC Charlotte first told you an audit found the city was over-charged for completion of the Blue Line by over $1.5 million.
The Mayor said in construction, things happen, but all the issues raised about CATS will be taken care of.
“Contracts are required by state law to be low-bid. So we take the low bid and sometimes that doesn’t always work out,” Lyles said.
Case in point – the Hawthorne Lane bridge that was to carry the streetcar over Independence Boulevard. When it came time to install the girders, some did not fit.
The Mayor said the project is now stalled until the contractor makes it right.
“Our objective is to make a safe bridge and that is what we are going to do,” she said.
CATS Director Joh Lewis told the City Council recently that the entire streetcar project will likely be delayed at least six months because the 2020 Republican Convention in Uptown will force a halt to construction and testing.
NBC Charlotte also informed you that a new audit discovered the city overpaid for the completion of the Blue Line light rail extension by at least $1.6 million.
Lyles said the audit is a matter of public record and nobody was trying to hide anything.
“We come out and we acknowledge and deal with issues. There is no hiding anything. The audit report is out there and that is going to be repaired as well.”
The Mayor was asked if she still had confidence in Lewis, she said she had confidence in everyone involved in the projects.
County Commissioner Pat Cotham though said, “Certainly in construction there will be problems but these seem to be pretty serious.”