Ground will be broken Saturday on a project to extend metro Phoenix’s light rail system by three miles.
The new section of line will be built on 19th Avenue in Phoenix from Montebello Avenue northward to Dunlap Avenue.
Construction will begin Monday.
The $300 million project is slated to be completed in late 2015 or early 2016.
The first 20-miles of light rail opened in December 2008.
Six light rail extensions are under way that will create a 57-mile system by 2032.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has unveiled $75 million in federal funding to help build a three-mile light rail extension connecting Phoenix and Tempe.
LaHood took part Friday in a grant signing ceremony in Mesa and said the light rail extension helps fast-growing cities in Arizona.
The new Central Mesa Extension, operated by Valley Metro Rail, will run from Sycamore to Mesa Drive on Main Street and connect residents in the downtown hubs of Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe. Officials say it’s expected to spur residential and commercial development in downtown Mesa while providing access to Arizona State University and Sky Harbor International Airport.
In the last six months, ridership on Valley Metro light rail has risen 6.2 percent on average, compared with the same period in 2011.