Phoenix, Valley Metro and FTA sign $158.1 million FFGA for second phase of light-rail project

Nov. 22, 2021
The light-rail extension will add 1.6 miles, three stations and a multimodal transit center to Valley Metro’s light-rail system.

Federal, local and transit industry officials came together in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 19, 2021, to celebrate the signing of a $158.1 million full funding grant agreement (FFGA) between the city, Valley Metro and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project.

The grant is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants program and will help fund the project that will add 1.6 miles, three stations, three bridges, a parking structure and a multimodal transit center to Valley Metro’s light-rail system.

"I'm delighted to be back in Phoenix today to help the Federal Transit Administration make this important funding award official," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Four months ago, I had the chance to see the remarkable work that Valley Metro is doing, and the Northwest Extension project will help even more residents get where they need to go, while at the same time helping to ease congestion and counter the climate crisis that has been so damaging to the Southwest."

A new rail-only bridge over I-17 will provide greater transit access to Phoenix residents who live west of the freeway. The extension will serve a corridor where 18 percent of households do not own a car and 31 percent of the population lives below the poverty level. It is expected to serve 5,700 riders each day.

"FTA is proud to join our partners in Arizona to expand light rail service and improve transit connections between Metrocenter, downtown Phoenix and other important destinations," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "The Northwest Extension Phase II project will get riders where they need to go – faster, more efficiently and sustainably."

The $158.1 million grant will help fund the $401-million project, which is also being funded through Proposition 400 regional transportation funds and Phoenix T2050 funds.

Construction on the extension began in September 2020. The project is being built by the joint-venture Kiewit-McCarthy.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.