I enjoyed reading the Republic’s story this morning concerning the delays of the 19th Avenue light rail extension. I don’t mean to say that the delay part was enjoyable, but I was glad to see some more information come out about it. The extension is commonly referred to by Metro as the Northwest Extension and was scheduled to begin construction very soon.
I had been hearing rumors of the delay and had even asked Metro what was going on. This past Tuesday I got the following response.
From: “Foose, Hillary”
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:01 PM
Subject: RE: NW Extension
You can find an update online at:
From their page I did learn that:
“As a result of the economic downturn, construction of the Northwest Extension will be completed in phases. Transit funding comes from sales tax revenue, of which collections are down more than 20 percent. This dramatic decrease has caused the city of Phoenix to adjust the project schedule. The first phase will complete all right-of-way real estate acquisition and construction of the planned landscaping barriers to secure the surrounding neighborhoods by 2010.”
The “economic downturn” might even delay things more than currently predicted. The ironic part could be that the economic impact of the areas in question might just be in better shape if there was an economic engine moving more people to more businesses. Oh, wait… That’s a debate for another day…