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President Obama designates $75 million to Tempe streetcar project

A map of the proposed Tempe Streetcar route. (Valley Metro Photo)

President Barack Obama has included the Tempe streetcar project in his budget for fiscal year 2017.

If approved it would mean $75 million for the project. The proposed streetcar system would connect riders from Marina Heights on Rio Salado Parkway, down Mill Avenue and all the way to the Apache and Dorsey light rail station. Two of the stops on Mill Avenue are close to Sun Devil Stadium and Wells Fargo Arena.

“That alone is going to help move people in and around,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “It connects to light rail to really move people throughout the region.”

Mitchell said this is a priority project for the city, and he expects a strong economic impact.

“By putting a project such as a streetcar in the ground, it will really help infuse additional economic development for future generations,” Mitchell said.

The total cost of the streetcar system is expected to be $177 million. The project will be funded using regional Proposition 400 funds and local funds as well as federal grant money. Construction is slated to begin in 2017 with the streetcar system opening in 2019.


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