Buttigieg visits Arizona to sign grant for light-rail expansion, tout infrastructure bill

Nov 22, 2021, 4:15 AM

PHOENIX – Light rail in metro Phoenix will get a funding boost from federal coffers, which is in addition to millions of dollars headed to Arizona under the infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed last week.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and others met at the partially shuttered Metrocenter mall on Friday for the signing of a federal transit grant, which will provide $158 million toward the second phase of the Valley Metro Northwest Extension project.

This grant – which is not funded by the new infrastructure bill – will provide 39% of the total $401 million price tag for the expansion, which will extend the light rail system by 1.6 miles and connect it to the Metrocenter from its current endpoint at 19th and Dunlap avenues.

The grant comes on the heels of the Nov. 15 signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a connection that both Buttigieg and Kelly were quick to draw.

“What we see is a community identifying transportation needs, developing smart solutions,” Buttigieg said, “standing up for its values and investing local dollars in these projects, and now, with the largest investment in transit history, the federal government is better positioned than ever to support with national resources.”

The infrastructure bill will provide $884 million dollars of funding for public transportation projects statewide over the next year, in addition to funding for other infrastructure projects.

“Folks in every corner of our state are going to benefit from this law,” Kelly said. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill is going to upgrade our roads, and bridges, and ports of entry, and water infrastructure, things we really need.”

This phase of the Northwest Extension project is expected to be completed by 2024 and is both on budget and on schedule, said Scott Smith, chief executive officer of Valley Metro. It makes up one part of Phoenix’s Transportation 2050 plan, a 35-year plan to expand transportation infrastructure throughout the city.

“These are generational investments; they aren’t one-year or even five-year investments,” Smith said. “These things are built to last the next 50 years, and over the next 50 years, they’ll prove their worth.”

The plan was approved by voters in Proposition 104 in 2015 and has defeated challenges from later ballot measures that attempted to restrict it.

“We are here today because the voters gave us such strong support,” Gallego said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Commerce Authority Photo)...

Aviation facility in Goodyear welcomes first class of aspiring pilots Monday

A new aviation training facility in the West Valley will welcome its first class of aspiring pilots Monday, the Arizona Commerce Authority announced.
7 hours ago
FILE - In this July 16, 2019, file photo, officers taking part in training load gun clips with ammu...

Phoenix man sentenced to over 3 years in prison for ammunition smuggle attempt

A Valley man was sentenced to over three years in prison on Wednesday for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States into Mexico last year, authorities said.
7 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Southbound SR 87 lanes reopened after crash east of Shea Boulevard

The southbound lanes have reopened on State Route 87 near the Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds following a crash.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/ Buckeye Police Department)...

Police arrest suspect after deadly shooting in Buckeye

Police arrested a suspect without incident after a fatal shooting near Yuma and Dean Roads in Buckeye Friday evening.
1 day ago
(Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team Photo)...

Officers seize over 100 pounds of cocaine at Arizona-California border

Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers seized over 100 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday at a port of entry near the California state line, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Scottsdale man accused of stealing millions in music royalties

A Scottsdale man is one of two people accused of stealing millions of dollars in music royalties over the past five years, authorities said Wednesday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Buttigieg visits Arizona to sign grant for light-rail expansion, tout infrastructure bill