Central Mesa Light Rail Extension
In April 2012, Valley Metro Rail selected a Kiewit/MEC joint venture team to design and construct the $132 million Central Mesa Light Rail Project. This federally-funded project consisted of approximately 3.1 miles of embedded guideway extending from the Central Phoenix/ East Valley LRT project’s eastern limits at Sycamore Street to a new end of line station platform on Main Street in Mesa. The project alignment is a center-street running concrete embedded double track through the heart of downtown Mesa, including an overhead contact system with center poles between the tracks. The project included four new stations each with unique aesthetic finishes, three traction power substations, and four signal buildings including urban development and architectural features at each location, five new crossovers including a new pocket track, a 500-car park-and-ride, and a new train tracking system installed over VMR’s new and existing alignment. The scope also included extensive renovation and reconstruction of utilities, storm drain systems, sidewalks, street lighting, and roadway surfaces.
One of the many unique challenges the project faced was the inclusion of a “no work” window for the Mesa Downtown section. During the peak winter visitor season, from October 1 to April 30, no construction work could take place downtown, this section included about a third of the entire project length. Through detailed planning and scheduling the project finished 7 months ahead of schedule. This achievement allowed the traveling public to utilize the new 3.1 miles of new light rail in August of 2015, ahead of the anticipated April 2016 revenue service date.