A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony was due to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, on February 26 to mark the start of construction for the city’s 15·4 km South Line light rail route. Serving 15 stops, it is due to open on December 31 2007.

Charlotte Area Transit System scheduled the groundbreaking at the site of the future maintenance depot after the Federal Transit Administration announced it would sign a Full Funding Grant Agreement guaranteeing $199m for the $427m project. The government has already committed $69m to the Charlotte project, and $55m is included in FTA’s 2006 budget.

North Carolina’s Board of Transportation recently agreed to provide an extra $7m to cover the higher than expected bids for building the maintenance depot.