Phoenix Gets Sneak Peek at Light Rail, Names Engineer

Sat August 07, 2004 - West Edition

PHOENIX (AP) The light-rail system for the Phoenix metropolitan area is still four years away but people are getting a sneak peak at what it will look like.

Valley Metro Rail has generated a series of realistic photo simulations that show how each of the 26 finished rail stations will blend into the streetscape, including details of the shade structures and waiting areas.

There also are animated films on the transit authority’s Web site that show the light-rail trains in action, pulling into stations and rolling through traffic on city streets.

The new film shows a detailed view of a light-rail train arriving at a station, picking up passengers and traveling along Central Avenue.

Each rail station on the 20-mi. route will be unique, said Betsy Moll, Valley Metro Rail’s manager of architecture and design.

Construction of the light rail project begins this fall.

State Engineer Named

The city manager of Douglas has been hired as state engineer to oversee the Arizona Department of Transportation’s highway development, construction and maintenance programs, the department announced July 21.

Michael Ortega has been Douglas’ city manager since 1995, previously working as public works director and city engineer. He also has worked for Pima County.

The previous state engineer, Bill Higgins, retired in April.