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Valley Metro to kick off Northwest light-rail construction

Valley Metro and city of Phoenix officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 12 to mark the start of construction on the Northwest light-rail extension.

The project calls for adding 3.2 miles to an existing 20-mile line. The Northwest project, which will extend light rail northbound on 19th Avenue from Montebello to Dunlap Avenue, is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016.

Light-rail expansion is occurring on both ends of the system, with the Central Mesa Extension under way since July 2012, Valley Metro officials said in a prepared statement.

"This is an exciting time for all transit riders as we expand further into Phoenix, providing our customers with greater transit choices," said Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Steve Banta.

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