Groundbreaking ceremony for light rail extension to Gilbert Road
- Lead A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to start construction on the Gilbert Road light rail extension, adding 2 more rail miles in Mesa along Main Street.
A colorful balloon release kicked off the official start of construction on the Gilbert Road Extension today. Valley Metro and City of Mesa hosted a groundbreaking event and community fall festival at Stapley Drive and Main Street to mark the milestone.
“By breaking ground on the Gilbert Road Extension, we continue to build our NextMesa,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “We’ve seen how light rail has revitalized our downtown and now we’re taking Mesa to the next level by extending the benefits of light rail to new neighborhoods and the greater East Valley.”
Rail service will be extended an additional 1.9 miles on Main Street from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Road. A 3.1-mile extension to downtown Mesa opened in August 2015.
“This extension is the East Valley’s gateway to countless connections in Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe,” said Valley Metro Interim CEO Scott Smith. “Expanding regional travel options is important for future riders and has proven itself as a catalyst for strong economic activity.”
The construction contractor, Stacy and Witbeck/Sundt, constructed the Northwest Extension in Phoenix, which opened earlier this year and a portion of the original 20 miles of light rail that opened in 2008.
“We are proud to partner with the city of Mesa and Valley Metro on this project,” said Stacy and Witbeck/Sundt Project Manager Jennifer Donaldson. “We also look forward to working closely with the community, minimizing the impact of construction and working to build a quality product for Mesa and this region.”
Construction will initiate the week of October 17. The extension is slated to open in late 2018/early 2019 with a programmed budget of $152.7 million from federal and local funds. For more information about the extension, visit www.valleymetro.org/gilbertroad.
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 26 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2016, total ridership for the system was 67 million passengers. Seven high capacity extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting www.valleymetro.org.
Public Information Specialist