Granite Polishes Off Vegas Monorail Phase 1

Mon March 08, 2004 - West Edition

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, and officials from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) recently announced that construction is complete on the privately funded first phase of the Robert N. Broadbent Las Vegas Monorail, with federal funds on the way for its second phase.

In a news conference held at the newly completed Las Vegas Hilton monorail station, local transportation officials said the Las Vegas Monorail has completed primary, or so-called civil, construction of its initial 4-mi. (6.4 km) route along the Las Vegas Strip from the MGM Grand to the Sahara hotel-casinos.

Granite Construction has been the primary contractor on the project, and Bombardier Transit Corp. has designed the trains, and mechanical and electrical systems.

With an appropriation of $20 million in Federal Transit Administration funds for its planned second phase, the monorail is well on its way to extending the world’s most advanced public transportation system to downtown Las Vegas by 2008, Reid said.

“For months now, we’ve all been watching the construction of the monorail, and it has been a fascinating project,” Reid said. “Now the first phase is done, and soon we’ll all finally get a chance to ride on it.

“That’s such exciting news. The monorail will help cut down on traffic congestion and air pollution around the Strip, and it will also be a lot of fun — for tourists and Nevadans alike. I’m very happy I was able to get matching federal funds to expand the monorail to downtown, and I’m looking forward to seeing that part of the project too.”

“The monorail is truly the newest wonder on the Las Vegas Strip, and I am confident it will be a huge success with locals and visitors alike,” said Berkley, who sits on the House Transportation Committee.

“I am pleased that I could play a role in helping secure the funding needed to bring the monorail downtown, and I look forward to watching as Phase 2 of the project turns from a dream into reality,” Berkley added. “It is incredible to think that in just a few short years, Las Vegas has become home to a 21st century transit system like the monorail, and what we are seeing here today is just the beginning of a very bright future.”

RTC Chairman Bruce Woodbury thanked Reid and Berkley for their support. He also looked forward to the upcoming opening of the monorail, which he said will help the RTC improve air quality and alleviate traffic congestion on and around the famed Strip.

“We are so grateful to Senator Reid and the rest of the delegation for their continual support of transportation projects and programs in our beautiful community,” Woodbury said. “The $20 million appropriation from the FTA for the downtown extension of the monorail is just one more example of this. The monorail project is just one element of the RTC’s vision for a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for our citizens and visitors alike.”

The privately funded $650-million Las Vegas Monorail connects eight major Las Vegas resorts with more than 24,000 hotel rooms, from the Sahara to the MGM Grand hotel-casinos on opposite ends of the Strip, with stops at the Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, the Flamingo/Caesars Palace and Paris/Bally’s. Plans call for the monorail to eventually connect downtown Las Vegas and McCarran International Airport.

The monorail system is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Monorail Company, a non-profit corporation whose board is appointed by Nevada’s governor.

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