Thursday, July 26, 2012

Western extension of Phoenix LRT OK’d

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Arizona's Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Wednesday approved plans for the "Phoenix West" extension of Valley METRO light rail transit.

The 11-mile extension will link downtown Phoenix with the State Capitol area and run to 79th Avenue and the I-10 West freeway.

"This project is an opportunity to extend the multi-modal Total Transit Network to the West Valley," said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta in a statement. "It will help ease congestion on the busy Interstate 10 freeway and provide swift connectivity to jobs, schools, activity centers and entertainment options across the Valley."

"The light rail extension will connect vital West Phoenix destinations like Desert Sky Mall, Ashley Furniture Pavilion, and other businesses to the rest of the Valley, creating a synergy that will help drive the area's economy," said Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski who represents the district. "It will also offer West Phoenix residents a cost-effective, sustainable transportation option and creates an economic bridge to our city's westside."

The project next undergoes an environmental assessment and early design work.

Valley Metro currently is extending LRT 3.1 miles eastward as well into downtown Mesa, Ariz.