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Glendale estimates savings of $162.3M after light rail cancellation

(Valley Metro Photo)

PHOENIX – The city of Glendale has reported an increase in transportation funds since ending a project that would have brought the light rail to downtown Glendale.

The Glendale Star reports that councilmembers ended the city’s participation with Valley Metro for the light rail expansion on Dec. 12, and has since estimated the savings for the city to be $162.3 million over the course of 25 years.

The expansion idea first surfaced by Valley Metro in March of 2016, with the construction costs estimated to be between $130 million and $145 million per mile.

Without construction and operational costs, the savings for the city are estimated to be $42 million between fiscal years 2018-22, $24.7 million for fiscal years 2023-32 and $95 million between fiscal years 2033-42.

City staff was asked to propose projects that would benefit from the extra funds. Along with improvements to several Glendale city roadways, the addition of high-occupancy-vehicle lanes on Interstate 10 to Grand Avenue was proposed.

“We have some extra money to go back and fix roads in neighborhoods that people have been complaining about for years,” councilmember Ian Hugh told the Star. “I think this money is great news and it will continue to improve Glendale and we can keep moving forward for the citizens.”

There was also consideration of lowering city sales tax. In 2001, Proposition 402 was approved to add a half-cent of sales tax to improve the transportation systems.

The city encouraged staff members to continue research on possible projects. They will then be presented to the Citizens Transportation Oversight Commission before an official vote.

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