Leaders at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are discussing the possibility of building a streetcar line

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Leaders at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are discussing the possibility of building a streetcar line
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:17 AM
City leaders at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are discussing the possibility of building a streetcar line, WXII-TV reports. Winston-Salem has an estimated population of 241,000: Image result for winston-salem streetcar
Winston-Salem Urban Circulator StudyImage result for winston-salem streetcar
 
City leaders discuss bringing streetcar system to Winston-Salem
City leaders met Monday afternoon to discuss the possibility of bringing a streetcar system to Winston-Salem and talked about possibly funding a study to look into the possible costs as well any problems with this project.
 
WXII
Updated: 3:16 PM EDT Apr 9, 2018
 
 
Bethany Sharpton 
Digital Media Manager
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —
City leaders met Monday afternoon to discuss the possibility of bringing a streetcar system to Winston-Salem and talked about possibly funding a study to look into the possible costs as well any problems with this project.
City officials received a request for $50,000 to assist in funding a feasibility study of a north-south streetcar route. On Monday, the Winston-Salem Finance Committee voiced its support for moving forward with this funding, but the City Council will ultimately decide whether or not to fund the study at a later time.
Wake Forest Innovation Quarter has engaged WSP, a Canadian-based global engineering and professional services firm, to study the feasibility of a street car route in an effort to create a connection along the rail corridor that encompasses WFIQ’s Rails to Trails project, which is now known as Long Branch Trail. 

The original corridor runs from just south of Third Street to just south of Smith-Reynolds Airport. The streetcar project would use that existing rail line and extend south to connect Winston-Salem State University and west to connect Whitaker Park, BB&T Field and the Wake Forest University campus.
WXII-TV
Working with NCDOT Rail, WFIQ envisions the concept of streetcars transporting people between the campuses.
The feasibility study is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $125,000 and Wake Forest University and WFIQ have agreed to contribute $25,000 each toward
the cost.
In addition to the city, funding support is being sought from Winston-Salem State
University and the Winston-Salem Foundation.

If deemed feasible, the long-range plan would involve pursuit of federal funds to pay for the project, which is estimated to cost between $35 million and $40 million. Developers have not determined when the project would be complete if it is ultimately approved by the city council.
The funding requires a 20 percent match from the community, a large portion of which would be made up of the value of the rail corridor which NCDOT Rail has agreed in principle to contribute.
During Monday's Finance Committee meeting, the committee determined they support the preliminary plans but they want the feasibility study to be conducted in order to see exactly how much the project would cost and if there are any issues with the proposal. They say once the study is completed they will be able to share their final opinions on the project. The date when the City Council will vote on the project has not been announced.
Also during the meeting, Council Member James Taylor says he thinks the rail line should extend east of Winston-Salem State University if it's built in order to give people who live in that area access to streetcar system. He says the project "makes sense" but it also "makes sense to push a little further."
A similar project was proposed as recently as 2000, but city council members then said the cost of the proposal was too high. City Council members say now it appears the cost is more reasonable and that is why they are interested in possibly moving forward with the plans. Again, the Council will hold a final vote on whether to approve the project at a later time.
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Edward B. Havens
Tucson, Ariz. 
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Posted by: Edward Havens <edhavens@gmail.com>        

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