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Tue, Feb 15, 2011

Central Mesa extension identified in President’s budget for $38M

PHOENIX, AZ — The light rail extension into downtown Mesa is recommended to receive $38 million in fiscal year 2012 according to the President’s budget released yesterday.

“This is great news for our region,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta.  “It’s a positive indicator that we will receive federal commitment of this project, allowing us to widen the reach of mass transit in this community.  Transit is an investment worth making now, in this economy, for the economic prosperity brought by its construction and operations.”

METRO is requesting a total of $75 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for Central Mesa; $38 million in FY12 would be an encouraging first installment.  Full funding grant commitment from FTA comes in the form of a Project Construction Grant Agreement (PCGA) expected in mid-2012.

“This commitment from Washington is a great sign for the Central Mesa light rail extension.  We are thrilled that our project is in the budget and are hopeful that Congress will agree,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said.  “This project will have tremendous impact as a real economic driver for Mesa.  It is the kind of smart investment government should be making even in these challenging times.”

The 3.1-mile, $200 million Central Mesa light rail extension will travel through downtown Mesa to Mesa Drive in 2016.  The project is currently in design following receipt of FTA’s initial approval into Project Development in August 2010.  Design will continue throughout 2011 and first quarter 2012; preliminary construction activities, including utility relocation, will begin in 2012.  Light rail construction can initiate once a PCGA is in place.  The project capital cost is also shared by the countywide Proposition 400 sales tax, approved by voters in 2004, and federal air quality funds.

For more information on the Central Mesa light rail extension, visit www.metrolightrail.org/centralmesa.




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