Mesa Mayor: Light Rail Will Revitalize Downtown
The city of Mesa celebrates a milestone this weekend.
The long-awaited Valley Metro light rail extension along Main Street will be open to passengers for the first time.
Mesa mayor John Giles said the light rail will help transform one of Arizona’s most historic cities. He said it’s been a long time coming.
“For me, I’m a Mesa native and remember coming to downtown Mesa back in the 60s when I was little boy and this was a hustling, bustling place," he said. "It was the center of the East Valley’s economy.”
Giles said freeways and shopping malls slowly siphoned that business away.
"The life of our downtown was slowly siphoned out," he said.
But Giles promises completion of the Valley Metro’s new central Mesa extension will help downtown return to its former glory.
“You’re gonna see an entertainment district and a business district revitalized in a way that’s going to turn downtown Mesa in to one of the real jewels of the Phoenix area," he said.
He admits the three-year construction project was tough on businesses.
"We've tried to do what we could to ease the pain," Giles said. "It has been a big challenge."
The Mesa connection was completed seven months ahead of schedule and it isn’t the end of the line. The Valley Metro light rail will eventually extend another 1.9 miles along Main Street out to Gilbert Road.
The long-awaited Valley Metro light rail extension along Main Street will be open to passengers for the first time on Saturday.