METRO has received the Finding of No Significant Impact (or FONSI) from the Federal Transit Administration for the 3.1-mile Central Mesa light rail extension. This approval comes following the submittal of the project’s Environmental Assessment, required to understand the extension’s effect on its neighboring environment and to continue to compete for federal grant dollars.
"This is another significant step toward implementing the voter-approved extension of light rail, which is so important to not only Mesa, but to the entire metro region," said Mesa mayor Scott Smith.
After more than a year of reviewing potential property, historic preservation, air quality, noise and vibration, hazardous materials and other impact areas, the receipt of the FONSI indicates that no significant environmental effect would occur with the implementation of this project.
“This is good news that took a lot of hard work and rigorous analysis by Metro working closely with the city of Mesa,” said Metro CEO Steve Banta. “It also allows us to initiate other key areas of work including utility relocation and real estate acquisition discussions.”
The Central Mesa extension will travel on Main Street from the current end-of-line at Sycamore, through downtown Mesa to Mesa Drive. It will include four stations and a park-and-ride lot. The project is currently in design. As the design progresses, precise real estate needs will be determined and discussions with property owners would ensue at that time. Utility relocation is expected to begin in summer 2012 with the line operational in 2016.
For more information on Central Mesa, visit www.metrolightrail.org/centralmesa.