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Construction on $177 million Tempe streetcar set for summer

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TEMPE, Ariz. — A more than $175 million streetcar project in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe will begin in coming months with the goal of adding three miles of track around the downtown part of the city by 2020.

The Arizona Republic reports construction on the route unveiled by Valley Metro last week will run from June to August, when tourism is lighter and fewer students are in the college town.

The streetcar project will be different from the Phoenix metro area’s light rail system, as streetcars are smaller, move slower and often share lanes with traffic.

About 40 percent of the project’s budget is expected to come from federal grants.

Valley Metro officials say they’re confident the project will be fully funded but will look into alternative routes or funding sources if money becomes an issue.

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