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Phoenix receives $49.4M in federal grants for light rail extension

(Flickr Photo/Valley Metro)

PHOENIX – The City of Phoenix will receive $49.4 million from a federal grant program to put toward the latest expansion of the light rail system in the northern part of town.

The funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration in the form of Capital Investment Grants, which is a program that funds capital investments like light rail, street cars and bus transit.

“Light rail is essential to smart growth and smart development throughout the city,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a press release Monday. “The grants will extend these advantages to commuters in northwest Phoenix.”

The grants will be used for the Northwest Extension Phase II project, which will add an additional 1.6 miles to the light rail track in north Phoenix.

The extension will run west on Dunlap Avenue to 25th Avenue and then north to Mountain View Road. From there, a structure will be built to bring the light rail over Interstate 17 to its final stop near the recently closed Metrocenter Mall.

“This expansion of Valley Metro Light Rail will further connect the region with affordable transportation options and lead to greater economic growth,” U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona said in a release.

“Investing in infrastructure is key to bringing more jobs to our state and rebuilding a stronger economy for the future.”

Separately, the city received an additional $1 million Transit Oriented Development planning grant, which will also go towards the northwest expansion.

Those funds will be used towards creating an active transportation implementation plan, which will allow the city to explore its vision for the area and provide assistance for populations that rely on public transit.

Last month, the city received a separate $530 million federal grant to start construction on the Phoenix South Central/ Downtown HUB light rail extension.

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