Stacy and Witbeck Inc. was awarded a contract by Valley Metro’s rail board to serve as construction manager for the Tempe Streetcar project. This will be the region’s first streetcar line according to a press release, which also stated that Valley Metro and Stacy Witbeck Inc. will partner with the city of Tempe, Ariz., project designer Stantec Consulting Services Inc., a handful of local community members, and five project artists for the streetcar line.
The Tempe Streetcar line will run along Rio Salado Parkway from the Marina Heights development west to Mill Avenue before making a downtown Tempe loop on Mill and Ash Avenues and then continuing south to Apache Boulevard. The streetcar will then finally run east to Dorsey Lane, connecting to the Dorsey/Apache Blvd. station.
The 3-mile route is projected to cost $186 million and will begin construction later this year with an opening launch set for 2020.
Stacy and Witbeck Inc. has experience in this type of project, having recently completed the Kansas City Streetcar line. Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and Sundt are also currently working on the light rail extension and Gilbert, Ariz. and have constructed 13 miles of Valley Metro’s light rail line in Arizona.
Pearce Supports New Mexico Oil Refinery
In February, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) released a statement in support of construction a new oil refinery in New Mexico. He has been working on the deal since 2013 and believes a new oil refinery would bring high paying jobs to the state as well as give New Mexico “the strongest oil economy in the world.”
“One item of note,” Pearce says in a statement on his congressional website, “is the construction and operation of a new oil refinery that would be built using private funds.” Pearce asserts he has “offered to work with the democrat leadership in the State House and Senate to get the most environmentally friendly, state of the art construction” for proposed oil refinery, claiming that [New Mexico] “has infrastructure that can potentially strengthen our communities and promote production capabilities.”
Pearce recently presented the potential oil project to the Trump Administration. In his statement, Pearce says he is working “towards a stronger New Mexico” as he aims to bring the state “opportunities and great economic development.
Grand Canyon University Debuts Major Commercial Hub
Grand Canyon University will debut a brand new 325,000-sq-ft office complex, renovated hotel, restaurant, and an education innovation center on the northeast corner of 27th Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix. The new complex will be replacing an old hotel, adult shop, swap mart, and used car lot.
The university’s overall 37-acre development will include 1.3 million sq ft of office, retail and parking space. The site could also host a proposed extension to the Valley Metro light rail system.
A study by Elliott D. Pollack & Company states that the annual economic impact of the new development will be around $660 million and tourism will pour an additional $9.8 million into the local economy. Construction of the development itself had a $170 million output for 2016 according to the same study, which also states that once the infrastructure is fully built the state will collect $2.6 million annually in taxes with the county netting $1.1 million and the city collecting $2 million per year from primary and secondary tax revenue generated within the complex.
Most of Nevada’s Bridges Hold Up, But the State Still faces $133M Shortfall
Nevada needs an estimated $133 million to upgrade 31 of its 2,008 bridges that are considered to be in poor condition, according to NDOT’s State Highway Preservation Report 2017.

In 2015 and 2016, after federally-required assessments used to determine health and lifespan of bridges, NDOT reported that Nevada faced $17 million in repairs for 27 bridges.
In addition to bridge repairs, Nevada also has a massive pileup of work to be done in order to improve state-owned streets and highways. Nevada has major improvements lined up this year that include an $11 million dollar project on U.S. Highway 93 and a $4.6 million upgrade along Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas as well as big plans for rural areas with a $20 million project on U.S. Highway 95 near California, a $14.6 million improvement of U.S. Highway 6 in White Pine County near Ely, and a $9 million upgrade for U.S. Highway 93 south of Wells in Elko County, according to the report.
The total backlog of pavement rehabilitation work in Nevada is $450.2 million, and NDOT spent $186.6 million in 2015 and 2016 to maintain or rehabilitate 450 miles of pavement.
South Central Light Rail Bids Open
With a federal approval in place, Valley Metro is now on track to begin work on the South Central Light Rail extension, which will be funded by Transportation 2050, a 35-year, multi-modal transportation plan.
Bids are now currently being accepted on the proposed five-mile double track that would connect downtown Phoenix to Baseline road. Last year, the Phoenix City Council agreed to fast-tracking parts of the light-rail system including the South Central extension, meaning the new tracks will open in 2023 instead of 2034.
According to a Valley Metro press release, it’s stated that the “route would connect with the existing line at Washington and Jefferson Streets using a one-way couplet, with southbound operations on 1st Avenue and northbound operations on Central Avenue, before converging at Hadley Street to operate within the Central Avenue median bi-directionally to its terminus at Baseline Road.”

A Pre-Proposal Conference will be held Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 3 pm. at Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85040. Proposals are due March 30, 2017 by 3 p.m. MST.