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Northwest Light Rail Extension OpeningNorthwest Light Rail Extension Opening<div class="ExternalClassAA9939F89D53434E96D85836AB1F147D"><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">​Connection to a new community along 19th Avenue will be the focus of a festive celebration on Saturday, March 19 to celebrate the opening of the Northwest Light Rail Extension. Three new stations, public art and a diverse set of neighborhoods and businesses will be open to the public following an official opening ceremony at 9 a.m. </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">"</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">Opening the Northwest Extension is going to be a special day for Phoenix because it was a project that was nearly put on hold for another decade after the Great Recession," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "Through the leadership of this Council and our regional partners, we were able to put the extension back on track. Light rail brings with it enhanced economic development and connections to education, jobs and opportunity, and we couldn't afford to wait." </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Valley Metro Rail is adding 3.2-miles of light rail service from Montebello to Dunlap avenues for a system total of 26 miles and 35 stations. To celebrate, a community fair will be held on March 19 to show appreciation for nearby 19th Avenue neighborhoods, businesses and community groups.</span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">"With each opening we move closer to completion of a 66-mile rail system to serve the region by 2034," said Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Phoenix City Councilmember Thelda Williams. "Each additional mile opens new doors. It keeps the region vibrant and progressive in a competitive market, increases development and connects new communities to jobs, education and entertainment."</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Construction on the Northwest Light Rail Extension began in January 2013 and is the Valley's second extension to open within seven months. The additional 3.2 miles of service on 19th Avenue, between Montebello and Dunlap, is anticipated to serve 5,000 daily riders.</span></p><p><strong>What:</strong>              <strong>19th Avenue Community Fair</strong></p><p><strong>Who:</strong>               Valley Metro, city of Phoenix, Sundt/Stacy Witbeck Joint Venture</p><p><strong>When:</strong>             March 19, 2016</p><p>9 a.m. – noon; speaking program begins at 9 a.m.</p><p><strong>Where:</strong>            19th Avenue & Dunlap Park-and-Ride</p><p><strong>Why:</strong>               Enjoy getting to know the 19th Avenue community at an expo featuring more than 60 booths, family-fun activities, local food and entertainment. Also be one of the first to ride light rail on the new extension. Receive a free commemorative pass.*</p><p><strong>More Info:       </strong><em>www.valleymetr​o.org/northwest</em><br></p><p><span style="line-height:18.9091px;">*Light rail service on the new extension begins at 10 a.m. All-Day commemorative passes will be distributed 10 a.m. to noon from the 19th Avenue stations at Montebello, Glendale, Northern and Dunlap avenues. Passes are valid on March 19 only and will be distributed while supplies last.</span>​</p></div>3/1/2016 3:00:00 PMLars Jacoby 602-261-8254 Valley Metro602-253-5000