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Local government association approves Valley Metro's light-rail plan, route

Yesterday, Phoenix’s Valley Metro received regional approval from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to pursue light rail and a preferred route for the Phoenix West extension.

The agency plans to extend light rail 11 miles from downtown Phoenix through the state capitol area to 79th Avenue and the I-10 West freeway. The extension will be Valley Metro’s first freeway corridor project, “providing the growing West Valley with a higher capacity and more efficient transit option by 2023,” agency officials said in a prepared statement.

Light rail and the chosen route will provide opportunities for economic development and community revitalization, they added.
In 2007, Valley Metro and city of Phoenix officials initiated a Phoenix West Alternatives Analysis study to identify potential high-capacity transit improvements for the West Valley. The project team later conducted a technical analysis, partnered with the Arizona Department of Transportation, and sought public input to help define the route and mode.
MAG’s approval will enable the project to enter the environmental assessment phase and allow early design work to begin, Valley Metro officials said.

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More News from 7/26/2012