ARIZONA NEWS

Tempe streetcar construction to close part of Mill Avenue for 3 months

May 13, 2019, 12:00 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm

(Yelp Photo)...

(Yelp Photo)

(Yelp Photo)

PHOENIX – Part of a main thoroughfare in downtown Tempe will be closed in one direction for most of the summer as construction crews move forward on the new streetcar line.

“We are taking the summer, when ASU is out of sessions, to lay streetcar track in the downtown portion of Mill Avenue between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway that will be closed beginning today through Aug. 15,” Amanda Nelson, spokeswoman for Tempe’s transportation division, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

The closure only impacts northbound traffic.

Nelson said all businesses and residences on Mill will still be accessible.

“People will just need to access them from a different angle,” she said, suggesting Ash Avenue to the west of Mill or College Avenue to the east.

Nelson also encouraged people to use the bus, light rail or other public transit options during the closure.

In an online post, transit agency Valley Metro said demolition work was scheduled daily from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. and track setting and concrete placement from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m.

Work on the project, shared by Tempe’s Public Works and Valley Metro, has been underway in earnest since 2018, when the Federal Transit Administration approved the initial phase of “significant” construction.

The government OK’d $75 million for the streetcar. In all, the system will cost about $200 million, most of it from Proposition 400 sales tax.

Work on the system’s rail track, power systems and street improvements began that fall.

The 14-station, 3-mile route includes two light-rail connections and takes riders from Marina Heights near Town Lake to Apache Boulevard toward McClintock Drive.

The streetcar was expected to roll in 2021.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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Tempe streetcar construction to close part of Mill Avenue for 3 months