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11-mile extension to Phoenix light rail line OK’d

(File photo)

An 11-mile extension to Phoenix’s light rail route has been approved by the Maricopa Association of Governments.

Metro officials say regional approval came Wednesday for the freeway corridor project.

The extension route will go from downtown Phoenix through the State Capitol area to approximately 79th Avenue and the Interstate 10 West freeway.

The project will now enter the environmental assessment phase, where early design work can also begin.

The 11-mile extension isn’t expected to be completed until the year 2023.

The first 20-mile light rail line in Phoenix opened in December 2008.

Metro has an average of 45,000 riders per weekday and served more than 13 million riders last year.

Light rail officials are planning for six route extensions that will create a 57-mile system by the year 2032.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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