Some South Phoenix residents concerned over light rail extension project

- A light rail expansion that is still in the design phase has some people and business owners trying to stop the project in its tracks.

The project, called the South Central Light Rail Extension, will, according to documents on Valley Metro's website, connect with the current light rail system in Downtown Phoenix and operate south to Baseline Road. The expansion will add a transfer hub in Downtown Phoenix, as well as new stations and tracks.

People living in certain parts of South Phoenix, however, have concerns over the project.

"I'm worried because it will effect the community," said Moises Gavino, owner of Dulceria La Bonita.

"They have large trucks that bring supplies," said Byron Waldrep, manager Pete's Fish and Chips. "They won't be able to get in and out. That alone will kill us. If we can't get supplies, we can't operate."

Waldrep says they've been at their location for 39 years, and the construction that will come with the light rail will lower their income.

In an earlier interview with Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith, Smith said he understands the impact the project has, but says there's no space to keep the extra lanes.

"The end game for creating the light rail will create greater opportunity than disruption in the long run," said Smith.

Celia Contreras, who owns Tony's Windows Tinting, says the light rail would create more traffic, as the lanes go from four to two.

The construction is currently in the design phase, which is expected to last for two years. The project is estimated to be complete in 2023.


Valley Metro's factsheet on the South Central Light Rail Extension
https://www.valleymetro.org/sites/default/files/uploads/event-resources/southcentral-factsheet_0.pdf

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