John Angelo introduced our two speakers for the day on the topic of Light Rail. Michael Book, the Valley Metro Community Relations Coordinator for the Northwest Extension Phase 2 Light Rail Construction project, has worked on Valley Metro light rail construction projects since 2012. He works with stakeholders throughout the project so they always know they can contact him should they ever have questions or concerns. In addition, he communi- cates project information so the public is aware of construction activities before they happen. Michael spoke to the club about two years ago. Bree Boehlke has been with Valley Metro since 2018 and is currently the Business Assistance Coordinator for the Northwest Extension Phase 2 project. She interacts on a daily basis with project business owners and managers and communicates the available resources available to them during light rail construction.
Michael and Bree tagged teamed the presentation giving an overview of the NW Extension Phase 2, design elements and phasing. In a nut shell, the Northwest Extension Phase II project will extend light rail west on Dunlap Avenue from 19th Avenue, then north on 25th Avenue and across I-17 at Mountain View Road, ending on the west side of the freeway near Metrocenter Mall. Construction involves work on Dunlap between 19th and 25th Avenues including under- ground utility relocation and roadway construction. In addition to a new transit center for light rail and bus service at Metrocenter, the extension also includes two light rail-only bridges over the I-17 and two new stations. In addition the Arizona canal bridge is being widened. Currently there are no plans to extend the Light Rail beyond Metro Center.
The team works with adjacent business owners and residents to mitigate disruptions during construction. There is also a one-year small business financial assistance pilot program that does not have to be paid back. Can be used for rent, payroll, safety upgrades, etc. The club will have an opportunity to take advantage of free advertising. Yea!