Central Mesa Light Rail Extension, Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America
The Central Mesa light railway is located in Phoenix, the capital city of Arizona, in the US. Construction work on extending the 3.1mi (five kilometre) line, which travels through downtown Mesa to Mesa Drive, is proposed to begin in June 2012.
It will provide benefits for the East Valley residents by connecting them to the regional transit system, as well as also providing growth opportunities in downtown Mesa.
It is expected to be completed by 2016. It is being developed and operated by Valley Metro Rail.
Areas served by the Central Mesa line and FTA approval
The 20-mile (32km) light rail line was first opened in December 2008. It served about 13.2 million riders in 2011. Valley Metro has proposed six new extensions to be completed by 2031. As part of the plan it received approval for the 3.1mi (five kilometre) light rail extension in central Mesa on Main Street from Sycamore to Mesa Drive in 2009.
The project also includes construction of four light rail stations, at locations including Alma School Road, Country Club Drive, Center Street and Mesa Drive, as well as park-and-ride facilities.
In August 2010, the Central Mesa extension project entered into design stage with the approval of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Valley Metro also completed an environmental assessment for the project and received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the FTA.
The extension line will run eastwards from the current end-of-line through downtown Mesa on Main Street to Mesa Drive.
Construction phases and expected completion for the light railway
Construction on the extension is expected to begin in June 2012. It will be carried out in a phased manner.
In the initial construction phase, overhead and underground utilities will be relocated, the existing grading and roadway will be demolished and construction of new traffic lanes, gutters, sidewalks and lighting works will be completed.
Installation of new traffic signals will also be completed during this phase of construction. Utility relocation work is expected to be completed between 2012 and 2013.
In the next phase of construction, system and station finishes are expected to be completed, between 2013 and 2015. It will involve installation of overhead power lines, fare vending machines and signal and communication systems.
Union Station is a major multimodal railway transportation hub in Toronto, Canada.
This phase will also include integration of station architecture and art work, construction of park-and-ride facilities and traction power substations, along with landscaping works.
In the final phase of construction the station platform and track installation works will be completed. This will involve installation of major light rail infrastructure.
Temporary traffic measure will be in place during this phase as the construction will take place primarily in the middle of the road. This phase of construction is expected to begin in 2013 and will be completed by 2015.
Testing on the newly constructed line is expected to be completed in 2015 and operations on the line are expected in late 2015 or early 2016.
Contractors involved with Phoenix's rail line extension project
Valley Transit Constructors (VTC), a joint venture of Kiewit and Mass Electric, was awarded a design build contract for the 3.1mi Central Mesa light rail extension project in March 2012. Parsons Transportation Group, which is part of VTC team, acts as the lead designer for the project.
In August 2010, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded with a $12.5m engineering services contract. It will provide both preliminary and final engineering services for the extension project.
Financing Valley Metro Rail's Arizona-based transport system
Total costs for the line extension project are expected to be $200m. About three-quarters of the funding for the project will come from Proposition 400, which is a half-cent sales tax for 20 years which was approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004, as well as federal air quality and grant dollars. The Federal Transit Administration is expected to give full funding commitment for the project in the summer of 2012.