News Ticker

Mesa Light Rail to Gilbert Road Coming Into Focus

By Gary Nelson for The Arizona Republic

Photo Credit: Light Rail Connect

Nothing is in concrete yet, but Mesa is beginning to get a clearer picture of the possible timing and costs for what seems an ever-more-likely extension of light rail to Gilbert Road.

About 50 people got up to speed on the project during a meeting September 11thabout the 1.7 mile extension to Gilbert Road. Howard Steere, community relations manager for Metro light rail, said the agency would like to begin building the next extension the minute it wraps up work on the first.

“We’re going to work hard to make that happen,” he said, “but that’s a very aggressive schedule to try to accomplish.”

Jodi Sorrell, Mesa’s acting transit director, said the City Council is expected to begin looking at the money issue late this year.

Marc Soronson, project manager for the Gilbert Road extension, said light rail is currently costing $60 million to $80 million a mile.

The Gilbert Road extension will be on the low end of that range, he said, if planners decide to restrict vehicular traffic to one lane in each direction.

If Main Street must be widened to accommodate not only the tracks but four lanes of traffic, Soronson said costs will rise significantly. That scenario would require buying some private property.

Read more at AZCentral