CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Local elected officials are still waiting on answers from Charlotte Area Transit Systems staff, regarding their failure to inspect bridges and parking garages throughout the City.
For the last two weeks, new developments of major failures within CATS have been released to elected officials and the public.
The first issue was the blue line derailment that happened in May of 2022, with passengers on board, and the most recent issue was the fact that CATS hasn’t completed federally required inspections on 37 of their elevated bridges and six of their parking structures, for the last two years.
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That most recent development came to the surface during Wednesday night’s Metropolitan Transit Commission meeting. According to the CATS Interim CEO, Brent Cagle, the bridges and parking garages haven’t been inspected since 2019.
This was the first time members of the MTC were informed of the lack of inspections, and many of them were concerned, especially after CATS’ lack of transparency regarding the blue line derailment that happened almost a year ago.
Elected officials, including Commissioner Leigh Altman, have expressed concern surrounding the culture within CATS and called for an investigation into the CATS issues, including the light rail derailment and the failure to complete inspections of the bridges.
“CATS and its leadership have made assertions in response about safety and what has happened to get us here. But at this point, we don’t know anything for a fact. So I am seeking an outside entity to interview the CATS technicians who were involved, to interview cats executive staff who had roles in this, people to interview people in the city manager’s office who oversaw CATS. We need someone to pull the records and the emails in the documents to substantiate what has actually occurred,” Altman said.
According to the letter of non-compliance from NCDOT, CATS had to submit a corrective action plan within 10 business days.