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PHOENIX, AZ — Valley Transit Constructors (VTC), a Kiewit/Mass Joint Venture, was selected today as the team who will continue designing and building the 3.1-mile Central Mesa light rail extension. Parsons Transportation Group, also part of the team, will serve as lead designer.
“METRO transitioned to a Design-Build delivery method to expedite the project, encourage collaboration and take advantage of favorable market conditions,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. “We are pleased to have Kiewit, Mass Electric and Parsons Transportation Group back on board following their years helping to successfully design and build portions of the current light rail line.”
This decision comes following a nine-month procurement process that sought support from high quality contractor/design teams from across the country. The contract was unanimously approved this afternoon by the METRO Board of Directors.
VTC will be issued a Limited Notice to Proceed for design and utility relocations in early April. They will then spend time developing a more detailed schedule that will be reviewed with the community at a public meeting slated for end of April. Utility relocation could break ground in late May. The current schedule calls for project completion in 2016, however, the details of the VTC schedule is likely to show this date can be moved up to 2015.
“Securing VTC brings METRO one step closer to building the Central Mesa extension,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. “The Design-Build method speeds up the process allowing the extension to open early but not without taking into consideration the needs of Mesa businesses and residents along the line.”
The 3.1-mile, $200 million Central Mesa light rail extension will travel through downtown Mesa to Mesa Drive. It includes four stations and an end-of-line park-and-ride. More than three-fourths of the project’s funding has been programmed with Proposition 400 and federal air quality and grant dollars. METRO expects to receive its full funding commitment from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) this summer.
METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 13.2 million riders in 2011, exceeding the prior year by four percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders per weekday. It is also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.