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METRO Light Rail

WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, served as the general engineering consultant (GEC) for METRO’s award-winning 20-mile (32-kilometer) Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail, the longest street-running light rail starter line in the United States. Our firm managed and contributed to the conceptual engineering and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and the subsequent preliminary engineering and final EIS. Working closely with METRO, we developed cost estimates and managed an extensive public and stakeholder involvement program.


The firm continued as GEC for the final design phase and design services during construction, overseeing 11 primary subconsultants for the design of the civil and street components, stations, and the maintenance facility. We were directly responsible for design of track and systems; traffic signals; traction electrification, including the overhead contact system (OCS); corrosion control; train signals; and communications; and oversaw design and procurement of 50 light rail vehicles. The team designed an innovative traffic signal communication system that minimized the number of stops at the 149 signalized traffic intersections along the route. The design of the OCS used tapered tubular poles and low-profile simple catenary to enhance the system’s appearance. Due to extreme summer heat, station design maximized shaded waiting areas.

The project, developed on a fast-track schedule, opened on time and within budget on December 27, 2008, far exceeding ridership projections.

We are providing program management/construction management/management consulting services for proposed LRT extensions in the cities of Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale, and is supporting METRO in the development of a streetcar system proposed for downtown Tempe.