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Valley Metro: Capitol Extension

The 1.4-mile Capitol Extension will provide an important connection between the downtown core and the Arizona State Capitol. Integrating with the existing Valley Metro Rail system at 3rd Avenue, the route extends west on Washington Street, turns south on 19th Avenue and then loops back to downtown along Jefferson Street.

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Valley Metro

Phoenix, AZ – The 1.4-mile Capitol Extension will provide an important connection between the downtown core and the Arizona State Capitol. Integrating with the existing Valley Metro Rail system at 3rd Avenue, the route extends west on Washington Street, turns south on 19th Avenue and then loops back to downtown along Jefferson Street.

The Capitol Extension was originally known as “Phase I” of the Capitol/I-10 West Extension, approved by the Phoenix City Council and Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors in 2016. “Phase II” is now known as the I-10 West Extension. Both projects are part of Phoenix’s T2050 plan, which was approved by voters in 2015

This project will bring together state, regional and local agencies, as well as community partners, and energize the downtown and State Capitol areas.

Recent updates:

  • March 2022: Based on community input and technical analysis, the project team recommended a new Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) that was approved by Phoenix City Council and the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors in November 2021. https://valley-metro-vulcan.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/projects/downloads/CAPEX-LPA-Report-March-2022.pdf
  • Preliminary engineering (PE) work is now underway to develop early construction plans and technical specifications for the extension. PE work will produce a reasonable cost estimate, identify any technical issues that may occur during construction and provide a basis for the final design phase.
  • The project team is also beginning preparations for the federally-required Environmental Assessment in 2022.

Visit Valley Metro for further updates… https://www.valleymetro.org/project/capitol-extension#status

Source: Valley Metro


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    Urbanism

    Connecting Las Vegas to Southern California: Brightline West Breaks Ground on America’s First High-Speed Rail Project

    Brightline West breaks ground on America’s first high-speed rail, connecting Las Vegas to Southern California. Making history!

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    "Image: Brightline West groundbreaking ceremony for America's first high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California"
    Making History: Brightline West Breaks Ground on America’s First High-Speed Rail Project Connecting Las Vegas to Southern California

    In a groundbreaking event on April 22, 2024, Brightline West officially started the construction of America’s first true high-speed rail system. This monumental project will connect Las Vegas to Southern California, covering a distance of 218 miles. The vision behind Brightline West is to provide a transportation solution for city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive. This innovative rail system will run fully electric, zero-emission trains capable of reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour, making it the greenest form of transportation in the world.

    @stmblog

    🚄 Making history! Brightline West breaks ground on America’s first high-speed rail connecting Las Vegas to Southern California. Exciting times ahead!

    ♬ original sound – STMDailyNews

    The significance of Brightline West goes beyond its environmental benefits. It is a watershed project that will establish the foundation for a new industry and supply chain in high-speed rail in America. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has provided $3 billion in funding for this project, with the remaining cost of $3.5 billion being privately funded through allocated private activity bonds from the USDOT.

    The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by esteemed officials and public figures, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Brightline Founder Wes Edens, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, and several senators and representatives from California and Nevada. Over 600 people, including union representatives, project supporters, and state and local officials, were present to celebrate this historic moment.

    Construction of Brightline West will take place within the median of the I-15 highway, with zero grade crossings. The rail system will include stops in Las Vegas, Victor Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. The project will use an impressive amount of materials, such as 700,000 concrete rail ties, 2.2 million tons of ballast, and 63,000 tons of 100% American steel rail. Over 160 structures, including viaducts and bridges, will be built, covering more than 3.4 million square feet with retaining walls. The entire project will be fully Buy America Compliant.

    Brightline West aims to revolutionize travel between Southern California and Las Vegas. The rail system will reduce travel time to just two hours, nearly half of the time it takes to drive. The Las Vegas Station will be conveniently located near the iconic Las Vegas Strip, providing easy access to the Harry Reid International Airport, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium. The other stations, including Victor Valley, Rancho Cucamonga, and Hesperia, will offer seamless connectivity to various locations in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.

    The economic and environmental benefits of Brightline West are significant. The $12 billion investment in infrastructure will generate over $10 billion in economic impact for Nevada and California and create more than 35,000 jobs, including 10,000 direct union construction roles and 1,000 permanent operations and maintenance positions. The rail system will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by over 400,000 tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to reducing vehicle miles traveled by more than 700 million each year and eliminating the need for 16,000 short-haul flights. Additionally, Brightline West will construct three wildlife overpasses to ensure the safe passage of native species, particularly the bighorn sheep.

    The success of Brightline West builds upon Brightline’s existing rail system in Florida, which connects Miami to Orlando. With plans to expand further to Tampa, the Space Coast, and the Treasure Coast, Brightline is spearheading the development of high-speed rail in the United States.

    The groundbreaking of Brightline West is a historic step towards transforming transportation in America. This ambitious project brings us closer to fulfilling the dream of high-speed rail and sets an example for future city pairs in the country. As we witness the start of construction, we eagerly anticipate the day when Brightline West connects Las Vegas and Southern California, providing a faster, greener, and more efficient mode of transportation for millions of travelers.

    Source: Brightline West

    https://www.brightlinewest.com/media/press-releases/2024/brightline-west-breaks-ground-on-americas-first-high-speed-rail-project-connecting-las-vegas-to-southern-california

    ABOUT BRIGHTLINE WEST

    Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America – offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too short to fly and too long to drive. Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Southern California with the first true high-speed passenger rail system in the nation. The 218-mile, all-electric rail service will include a flagship station in Las Vegas, with additional stations in Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. At speeds up to 200 miles per hour, trains will take passengers from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga in about two hours, twice as fast as the normal drive time.

    Brightline is currently operating its first passenger rail system connecting Central and South Florida with stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Orlando, with future stations coming to Stuart and Cocoa. For more information, visit www.brightlinewest.com and follow on LinkedInXInstagram and Facebook.

    QUOTE SHEET

    “Through this visionary partnership, we are going to create thousands of jobs, bring critical transportation infrastructure to the West, and create an innovative, fast, and sustainable transportation solution. Nevada looks forward to partnering with Brightline on this historic project.” – Governor Joe Lombardo, Nevada

    “Today, not only are we breaking ground on a historic high-speed rail project here in Nevada, we are breaking ground on thousands of good paying American jobs, union jobs.” – Steve Benjamin, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement

    “For decades, Nevadans heard about the promise of high-speed rail in our state, and I’m proud to have led the charge to secure the funding to make it a reality. Today’s groundbreaking is the beginning of a new era for southern Nevada — creating thousands of good-paying union jobs, bringing in billions of dollars of economic development, enhancing tourism to the state, reducing traffic, and creating a more efficient and cleaner way to travel. This is a monumental step, and I’m glad to have worked across the aisle to make this project come true.” – Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

    “Having high-speed rail in Las Vegas will electrify our economy in Southern Nevada, and I’m thrilled to celebrate this milestone today. This project is on track to create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs while cutting down traffic on I-15, and I’ll keep working with the Biden Administration to get this done as quickly as possible and continue delivering easier and cleaner transportation options for everyone in Nevada.” – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

    “Today’s groundbreaking is a historic step in modernizing rail service in the United States. Californians driving between the Los Angeles region and Las Vegas often face heavy traffic, causing emissions that pollute the air in surrounding communities. The Brightline West Project will provide travelers with more options—helping Californians and visitors alike get to their final destination without facing gridlock on the road.” – Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)

    “High-speed rail in the Southwest has been a dream as far back as the nineties when Governor Bob Miller appointed me to the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission. As a senior Member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I am honored to have helped write the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and secure $3 billion to turn that dream into a reality which will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, reduce carbon emissions by easing traffic on Interstate 15, and create thousands of good-paying union jobs. I am proud to stand with advocates and transportation leaders as we break ground on the Brightline West project and look forward to welcoming high-speed passenger rail to Southern Nevada.” – Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1)

    “For decades, high-speed rail was just a dream in southern Nevada – but now, I’m beyond proud that we finally made it a reality. I worked across the aisle to help negotiate, craft, and ultimately pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law because I knew it would kickstart transformative projects like Brightline West that will stand the test of time. Together, we’re cutting down on traffic, boosting our tourism economy, and creating thousands of good-paying union jobs.” – Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-3)

    “I am proud to join Brightline West for the groundbreaking of this monumental project for Southern Nevada and the southwestern United States. By connecting Las Vegas to Southern California via high-speed rail, we will boost tourism, reduce congestion on the I-15 corridor, and create jobs. The impact on our local economy and the people of the Silver State will be tremendous. In my conversations with Secretary Buttigieg, Brightline West, and our Nevada labor leaders, I know that local workers and our Nevada small businesses will benefit from this transformational investment. This will be the nation’s first true high-speed rail system, blazing a new path forward for our nation’s rail infrastructure, and we hope it will serve as a blueprint for fostering greater regional connections for many other cities across the country. – Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-4)

    “Brightline West’s groundbreaking today marks the construction of a dynamic high-speed rail system that will link Las Vegas, Hesperia, and Apple Valley to Rancho Cucamonga’s Metrolink Station, creating new jobs and fostering economic growth in California’s 23rd Congressional District. This convenient alternative to driving will reduce the number of cars on the road, decreasing emissions and reducing congestion in our High Desert communities. This is an exciting step and I look forward to the completion of this project.” – Congressman Jay Obernolte (CA-23)

    “Today’s groundbreaking on the Brightline West high-speed rail project marks an incredible milestone in the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to fulfilling the promise of high-speed rail and emissions-free transportation across the country. As a longtime supporter of this project, I helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has already invested over $3 billion to support the completion of this project. By increasing transportation options, spurring job creation and new economic opportunities, and improving our environment through cutting over 400,000 tons of carbon pollution each year, this project will be transformative to my district and all of Southern California for generations—particularly in and around the last stop in Rancho Cucamonga. With the goal of being operational in time for Los Angeles to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2028, I look forward to Brightline West facilitating travel for the millions visiting our region and elevating our 21st-century connectivity on the global stage.” – Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-28)

    “As the Member of Congress that represents the City of Rancho Cucamonga and a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, it is my honor to participate in breaking ground on one of the most highly anticipated high-speed rail projects in the country. We gathered today thanks to the Biden Administration’s leadership, which enacted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to fund vital projects like this and transform our economy. The Brightline project is a stellar illustration of the power of successful public-private partnerships. Thanks to all the labor unions, Tribes, and wildlife advocates for their hard work, which brought this project to life. The bright line is fully electric and has zero emissions, which is excellent for our environment. I am eagerly anticipating the completion of this project in my district and look forward to seeing everyone there.” – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35)

    https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism

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    • Rod Washington

      Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

      View all posts

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    Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

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    California High-Speed Rail construction site with workers in hardhats.
    Artistic rendering of a CAHSR high-speed train running in the Central Valley. California High-Speed Rail.

    In a significant milestone for the nation’s first high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced that it has successfully created over 13,000 construction jobs since 2015. This accomplishment not only signifies progress for the ambitious high-speed rail system but also highlights the positive impact it has had on the local Californian workforce.

    California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

    Central Valley Takes the Lead:
    With over 70 percent of these jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley, the project has played a vital role in providing employment opportunities for individuals in the region. It is worth acknowledging the efforts of nearly 1,400 workers dispatched each day to various high-speed rail construction sites. These jobs have injected economic vitality and growth into communities across the Central Valley.

    Regional Breakdown:

    1. Fresno County: 4,222 jobs
    2. Kern County: 2,538 jobs
    3. Tulare County: 1,282 jobs
    4. Madera County: 580 jobs
    5. Kings County: 462 jobs
    6. Merced County: 189 jobs
    7. Remaining California Counties: 3,387 jobs
    8. Out-of-State: 369 jobs

    A Decade of Strong Partnerships:
    The Authority has had a longstanding partnership with the California State Building Trades, which has facilitated the creation of thousands of good-paying union jobs. Notably, during the past five years alone, over 10,000 construction positions have been generated through these collaborative efforts. Moreover, a significant focus has been placed on directing employment opportunities towards individuals from disadvantaged communities, further promoting inclusivity and economic upliftment.

    California Jobs First Council:
    To bolster job creation even further and ensure economic prosperity for all Californians, the California Jobs First Council was established. This council aims to align economic resources, expedite job creation, and enhance opportunities throughout the state. With particular focus on the Central San Joaquin Valley, this initiative serves as an impetus for creating more jobs, rapidly, in every community.

    Future Expansion and Construction Progress:
    Looking ahead, the Authority is resolute in extending the current 119-mile high-speed rail network to span 171 miles, reaching from Merced to Bakersfield. The construction has already commenced on this expansion project. Presently, more than 25 dynamic construction sites are active within the Central Valley. As a testament to its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Authority has obtained full environmental clearance for 422 miles of the high-speed rail program, stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

    Stay Updated:
    For the latest developments and information about the high-speed rail construction, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the official website: www.buildhsr.com. On the website, visitors can access recent videos, animations, photographs, press center resources, and the latest renderings of the project. All files are available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s achievement of surpassing 13,000 construction jobs is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. By focusing on job creation and prioritizing the local workforce, this landmark project is making a positive difference in the lives of Californians, particularly those in the Central Valley. With continued progress and future expansions, the California High-Speed Rail project not only brings efficient transportation but also provides a substantial economic boost that benefits communities and individuals alike.

    https://hsr.ca.gov/2024/03/19/putting-jobs-first-california-high-speed-rail-crosses-13000-construction-jobs-milestone/

    Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority

    @stmblog

    13k+ jobs created! 🚄 California High-Speed Rail breaking records and boosting the economy! jobs infrastructure https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

    ♬ original sound – STMDailyNews – STMDailyNews

    What is California High-Speed Rail?

    The California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is a state-funded project led by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Currently under construction, Phase 1 is planned to cover 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through the Central Valley. There are plans for Phase 2, which would extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 776 miles. Authorized by a 2008 ballot, this ambitious project aims to connect major urban areas, significantly reducing travel times. The goal for Phase 1 is to achieve a travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a vast improvement from the existing Amtrak service, which takes around nine hours.

    Construction of Phase 1 began in the Central Valley back in 2015. The project is being built in sections due to limited funding. The state aims to complete a 171-mile (275 km) long Initial Operating Segment (IOS) connecting Merced and Bakersfield by 2024. The IOS is expected to begin its revenue service as a self-contained high-speed rail system between 2030-2033, at an estimated cost of $28–35 billion. CAHSR trains running along this section would be the fastest in the Americas, with a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

    Between January 2015 and December 2023, a whopping amount of $11.2 billion was spent on the IOS project, which includes 119 miles (192 km) currently under construction, alongside upgrades to the existing rail lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. The plan is that Phase 1 will share tracks with conventional passenger trains. However, the Authority has not yet secured funding to connect the Central Valley section with either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which involves crossing several major mountain passes. As of 2024, it is estimated that Phase 1 will cost a total of $106.2 billion.n.

    Supporters of the California High-Speed Rail project emphasize the potential benefits it offers, including the reduction of air traffic and highway congestion, decreased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of economic growth by connecting inland regions to coastal cities. However, opponents argue that the project is too expensive and advocate for directing funds to other transportation or infrastructure initiatives. The choice of route and the decision to initiate construction in the Central Valley, rather than more densely populated areas, have been points of contention. The project has encountered notable challenges such as delays and cost overruns due to management issues, legal disputes, and a lack of complete funding commitment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#

    https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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    • Rod Washington

      Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

      View all posts

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    STM Blog

    Riding the Rails to a Sustainable Future: The Rise of High-Speed Rail in the U.S.

    High-speed rail in the U.S. offers a sustainable, faster, and comfortable alternative to flying and driving, significantly reducing carbon emissions.

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    "High-speed rail in the U.S. offers a sustainable, faster, and comfortable alternative to flying and driving, significantly reducing carbon emissions."
    Acela and Metro-North commuter trains share the same tracks through Connecticut.

    In a world where environmental sustainability and efficient transportation are becoming increasingly critical, the United States is making strides towards a faster and greener future with the expansion of high-speed rail networks. While the U.S. may have lagged behind other countries in this area, promising developments such as the Brightline West project in the Southwest, the Texas line connecting major cities, and the Northwest corridor linking bustling urban centers are paving the way for a new era of travel.

    High-speed rail presents a compelling alternative to traditional modes of transportation. With trains reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, these systems offer a comfortable, cost-effective, and time-efficient way to travel. Compared to flying, high-speed rail eliminates the hassles of airport security checks and long wait times, while surpassing the speed of driving without the stress of being behind the wheel. Passengers can unwind, be productive, or simply enjoy the journey, making it a holistic travel experience.

    Beyond the convenience and comfort it offers, high-speed rail holds immense promise in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. The potential environmental impact of projects like the Brightline West is staggering, with estimates suggesting that millions of cars could be taken off the road, significantly curbing carbon pollution. Given the alarming statistics on the environmental cost of traditional transportation, transitioning to high-speed rail is a crucial step towards mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.

    The urgency of addressing climate change cannot be overstated. The emissions released from burning fossil fuels are driving global warming at an alarming rate, leading to catastrophic consequences such as extreme weather events and environmental degradation. By opting for public transportation like high-speed rail, individuals can contribute to cooling down the planet and reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, embracing sustainable modes of travel such as walking and biking not only promotes environmental conservation but also enhances personal health and well-being.

    As the U.S. accelerates its efforts to embrace high-speed rail and other eco-friendly transportation options, we are moving closer to a future where sustainability and efficiency go hand in hand. By choosing to ride the rails, we are not only embarking on exciting journeys but also taking meaningful steps towards a cleaner, greener planet for generations to come.

    If you are interested about high speed rail in America, check out these articles:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela

    https://www.hsr.ca.gov/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightline

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_the_United_States

    https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

    Author

    • Rod Washington

      Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

      View all posts

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