Valley Metro is pleased to announce that Tempe Streetcar crews have completed track installation on Mill Avenue between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. Mill Avenue northbound will re-open Aug. 16 on schedule and prior to ASU student arrivals.
“We’re excited and relieved to have Mill Avenue open in both directions – on schedule and just in time for the start of ASU’s fall semester and the influx of traffic that comes with it,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “With the completion of trackwork in this section, nearly half of the Streetcar track (more than 520 tons of rail) is in the ground, a significant milestone in bringing the Valley’s first streetcar to the community.”
To date, crews have installed 37,000 feet of electrical conduit and nearly half of the track. Crews worked six days a week from May 13 to Aug. 15 in order to finish the job on time and often pulled double shifts, despite the hot summer weather. The construction schedule was created for the closure to have the least impact when ASU students were largely absent from campus.
“The downtown Mill Avenue section of track is one of the most challenging on the Tempe Streetcar Project,” said Andy Auxier, project manager with construction contractor, Stacy and Witbeck. “We knew a big push this summer would be a tall order for our team, but it was best for the community.”
During the lane closure, Downtown Tempe Authority assisted businesses along Mill Avenue with promotional events, including the popular Hard Hat Thursday discounts. Valley Metro’s Shop On business directory will continue to provide promotional assistance throughout the entirety of construction.
“Summer construction is tough on the public, business owners and construction workers alike,” said Valley Metro Project Manager Luis Mota. “This summer was a great example of how residents, businesses and a construction team can work together to minimize the temporary impacts in order to ultimately connect communities and enhance lives.”
Crews will return next summer to install streetcar stops. The work will be less impactful to vehicle traffic with minimal restrictions.
Tempe Streetcar is scheduled to open in 2021 with three miles of track, 14 stops and two connections to Valley Metro Rail. The route will connect riders to neighborhoods, major business centers and regional entertainment/event destinations. To learn more about the project, visit valleymetro.org/tempestreetcar.
About Valley Metro:
Valley Metro has a mission of connecting communities and enhancing lives by providing effective public transit to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County. That includes the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 28 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2018, total ridership for the system was 67 million passengers. Six high capacity transit extensions are under construction that will create a 50-mile system by 2030. Valley Metro also offers 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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.
About the City of Tempe:
Tempe makes waves as a technology and business magnet, an inclusive, caring community and a hub for recreation and adventure. A robust multi-modal transportation system, including 215 miles of bikeways, six free neighborhood circulator routes, a comprehensive bus network and nine light rail stops, makes it easy for residents and visitors to bus, bike, walk or rail to their destination.