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Valley Metro's Mesa Extension slated to open seven months early

Valley Metro's new light-rail extension in Mesa, Ariz., is expected to open Aug. 22 — seven months ahead of schedule, agency officials announced yesterday.

The announcement came at a ceremony that featured Mesa Mayor John Giles and the city's Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh.

"The city, Valley Metro and our contractor have worked so well together to make this happen really seamlessly," said Kavanaugh, who also serves as board chair of Valley Metro Rail, in a press release. "It’s a hallmark of rail construction here in the Valley."

Funded by a combination of regional and federal dollars, the three-mile extension is expected to add 5,000 daily riders. Valley Metro received a $75 million grant for the project, which began construction in June 2012.

Testing to ensure safety will continue along the new tracks, Valley Metro officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/4/2015