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November 22, 2021

Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project secures $158.1m grant

This 2.57km light rail extension will be operated by Valley Metro.

The City of Phoenix and Valley Metro are set to receive a construction grant award of $158.1m from the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) for the Northwest Light Rail Extension Phase II (NWEII).

This light rail extension, which will be developed and managed by Valley Metro, will span about 2.57km.

Under the project, three bridges, three stations, a multi-modal transit centre and a parking structure will be added to the current 45km light rail system.

This light rail track is projected to start operations in February 2025, connecting the Metrocenter area to current regional activity centres, including the North Central Avenue office corridor, Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport, downtown Phoenix, and Arizona State University.

The Phoenix Northwest Extension Phase II project will also back transit-related development in the corridor, such as the redevelopment of the Metrocenter Mall site.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Four months ago, I had the chance to see the remarkable work that Valley Metro is doing, and the Northwest Extension project will help even more residents get where they need to go, while at the same time helping to ease congestion and counter the climate crisis that has been so damaging to the Southwest.”

The project will also enhance transit connectivity across Interstate 17.

With a combined project cost of $401.3m, nearly $158.1m will be delivered through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Programme.

Finance support will also be provided through Proposition 400 regional transportation funds and city of Phoenix T2050 funds.

Construction of the project commenced in September last year.

Separately, USDOT granted $24m in funds to the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to improve infrastructure and support the economic development in Wasco (Kern County).

In August this year, CHSRA sanctioned the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for a 128.74km alignment section of the Bakersfield to Palmdale project.

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