Metro light rail will be extended 11 miles into the west Valley from downtown Phoenix after receiving approval Wednesday from the Maricopa Association of Governments.
The line will run through the State Capitol area to about 79th Avenue and the I-10 west freeway. It marks METRO's first freeway corridor project, providing the growing west Valley with a higher-capacity and more efficient transit option by 2023, officials said.
"It will help ease congestion on the busy Interstate 10 freeway and provide swift connectivity to jobs, schools, activity centers and entertainment options across the Valley," said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta.
In 2007, METRO and the city of Phoenix launched a study to identify potential high-capacity transit improvements for the west Valley.
Throughout the years, the project team conducted technical analysis, partnered with the Arizona Department of Transportation and integrated comments from the public to define the route.
"Today's approval is another critical step toward delivering a comprehensive transit system that our city and our region deserve," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said.
Within the freeway, the route will move from the median to the north side at approximately 47th Avenue to help create additional economic development.
"The light rail extension will connect vital west Phoenix destinations like Desert Sky Mall, Ashley Furniture Pavilion and other businesses to the rest of the Valley, creating a synergy that will help drive the area's economy," said Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who represents this district.
The project will now enter the environmental assessment phase, where early design work can also begin.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:50 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:50:15 GMT
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
Officials told CBS 5 that a 23-year-old firefighter is in extremely critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix after being crushed between two fire vehicles.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-17 00:01:44 GMT
Rozenna Luna (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A mother has been taken into police custody after police say she tried to give away her 6-month-old daughter at a Phoenix gas station. Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said investigatorsMore >
Police said Rozenna Luna, 36, had been drinking and was on meth when she asked strangers if they wanted a "free child" as she attempted to give the baby girl away at a Phoenix gas station.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:01 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:01:02 GMT
Crash victim Juan Rodriguez with his fiance Amanda Lujan.
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road. "The fourth of July, Juan proposed,More >
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles. A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:06:03 GMT
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands ofMore >
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands of criminals.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 11:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:49:34 GMT
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effectMore >
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effect next month. More >