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PHOENIX, AZ — The Northwest Extension has been selected by the Associated General Contractors of America as the recipient of the 2017 Alliant Build America Award in the Highway and Transportation New category.
“The decision to accelerate the Northwest Extension by seven years is already paying dividends,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “The hard work and planning that’s now being deservedly recognized has helped connect tens of thousands of residents to jobs, education, medical appointments and entertainment throughout the Valley while serving as a catalyst for old and new businesses along the extension.”
The award is a reflection of the successful delivery of a construction project with major utility relocation in a densely urbanized community while maintaining access to neighborhoods, businesses and schools.
“The community expects us to spend our transportation dollars wisely and efficiently,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who chairs the Valley Metro Board of Directors. “With solid partnerships and quality management, we boosted our regional transportation network with a project we finished ahead of schedule and on budget.”
The project also received the Marvin M. Black Excellence in Partnering Award due to collaboration among the construction contractor, Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck Joint Venture (SSWJV), Valley Metro, city of Phoenix, third-party utility companies and community stakeholders.
“Throughout the construction of the Northwest Extension the project team excelled in planning, maximizing safety and quality, creating partnerships and focusing on the community,” said Scott Smith, Valley Metro CEO. “We are proud of the construction team’s high quality work and investment in the local community on the Northwest Extension.”
“Light Rail has completely transformed the city bringing new business and energy to downtown that I’m anxious to see in District 5 in the 19th Avenue community,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said. “19NORTH is a community group that catalyzed during light rail construction to draw local support and collaboration for businesses, residents and neighborhoods along 19th Avenue. 19NORTH has continued to grow and expand its public footprint to the point where the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors recently recommended amending the Northern/19th Avenue Light Rail Station to include ‘19NORTH’ as a Point of Interest name.”
Valley Metro Rail’s Northwest Extension includes three new stations, public art and a diverse set of neighborhoods and businesses. Work on the 3.2-mile $327 million project began in January 2013 and was completed in March 2016 ahead of schedule and within budget.
“The Northwest Extension was a challenging project that achieved such a high level of success through the focus on partnerships and the community that were key to our project approach”, said Erik Yingling, SSWJV Project Manager. “The level of community involvement, coupled with partnerships between Valley Metro, city of Phoenix, subcontractors and our skilled workers enabled the overall team to successfully expand transit options for this area and the region.”
Backed by city of Phoenix funds, regional leadership also provided Proposition 400 dollars to prevent delays to the project that would have resulted in the line opening in 2023. Phase II of the Northwest Extension will cross the I-17 and extend to Metrocenter Mall. Anticipated completion date is 2023.
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 26 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2016, total ridership for the system was 67 million passengers. Seven high capacity transit extensions are planned or under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.