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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has granted environmental approval for Valley Metro's planned South Central light-rail extension.The FTA's "finding of no significant impact" allows Valley Metro and the city of Phoenix to proceed with final design work on the extension, which is slated for completion by 2023, Valley Metro officials said in a press release.The environmental review examines the project's impact on noise and vibration, air quality and historical and archaeological resources. Receipt of the FTA's finding is required before final design work can begin on projects the agency oversees."Extending light rail to South Central Phoenix is vital to our long-term economic success," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "Phoenix residents told us they wanted to invest in transportation. With this approval, and with the FTA's consistent support for our long-term transit plans, we have moved closer to becoming a more connected city and region."The 5-mile South Central Extension will connect with the existing light-rail system in downtown Phoenix and run south to Baseline Road. The project originally was scheduled to be finished in 2034, but its completion was moved up to 2023 after Phoenix voters in August 2015 approved the "Transportation 2050" plan, which calls for a 0.7 percent sales tax to fund various transportation projects in the region. A map shows Valley Metro's various extension plans.(Click to view larger)Source: Valley Metro
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