Phoenix City Light Rail Party
The City of Phoenix held their “half way” completion party for the Phoenix City Light Rail Party Saturday morning at 7 a.m.
Your first question, of course, is why through a party so early in the morning? That’s an easy one… at 7 a.m. it’s reasonably warm (as opposed to unbearably hot) in the desert southwest! So when the City of Phoenix decides to throw a Light Rail party in the middle of the summer, they do it at 7 a.m.
Your next question is: what was the purpose of the party? The City of Phoenix is working on a 3-1/2 mile extension to the Light Rail, and Saturday marked the half way point in construction.
This construction, which is through an older part of town, is hindered by lack of locational maps of things like gas lines, electric lines, water lines, sewer pipes and phone lines. That means, even though there is no doubt that the lines and pipes are there somewhere, they have no idea where they are! So they’re tearing up 3-1/2 miles of street, replacing all of the old lines and pipes, replacing the asphalt, ripping up an additional 3-4 lanes for additional traffic, and then putting down the electricity and the track. Whew! It’s a lot of work!
What did they do at the party this morning? They completed laying the first a piece of track!
The fun part was, it wasn’t the workers doing the labor, but the “desk guys” …the engineers and planners (the guys who know absolutely nothing about concrete!!)
This is a picture of the men pouring the concrete on the last piece of rail. We drove by yesterday and saw that the rail itself had already been installed, but today they finished the project by topping it off with concrete. I would have loved to have put my initial in that concrete!
The construction crew has a mascot. She helps them with their daily projects. Here’s a picture of the Light Rail mascot. Can you see her sitting on the ice chest? She has a hard hat and a big grin!
We have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people who work on the Light Rail project. Many of them come into our flower shop. They tell us updates, give us maps, help us with road closures, and generally offer any assistance they can to the 300+ businesses affected by the construction of the Light Rail.
Here are a couple pictures of people we know from the Light Rail Project.
First is Jorge, the Business Assistance Coordinator for the Light Rail. I would say Jorge is the all around go to guy when there’s anything going on with the Light Rail. He answers all of our questions, bring us flyers and calendars, sends out emails, and generally helps facilitate anything he can between the businesses and the project. Jorge always has a smile on his face and a keen ear for listening to everything that is happening on the project.
The other gentleman is Rich, the man in charge of all of the city street closures for the entire City of Phoenix. The Light Rail construction is one of his many projects, and this one changes from day to day. Imagine having to know where the workers will be on any given day, and then arranging for traffic to flow in all directions and still guarantee the safety of the workers. That’s his job.
I took this picture of Pamela and she took the picture of me.
Behind us you can see palm trees (they look like balloons!) and the track.
Our friend Gail, who lives a few houses from the light rail construction, brought Clark to the party this morning. Clark is a 150 pound Great Dane, one of the nicest dogs I’ve ever met. Gail, Clark, Abbie and I go to the doggie park together, so I know what type of dog Clark is. Among his talent is being a therapy dog at John C Lincoln Hospital. You can see him on the very right on the picture of me, and here’s a great picture of Gail and Clark taken just a few days ago at a summer school class.
What was missing at this party? They had cookies. They had hand-outs. They had tents and chairs and music.
Did I mention the Mayor?
Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, AZ, had quite a conversation with me while Pamela snapped pictures!
You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with Basket Express and Roadrunner Florist. Our beautiful, local Phoenix Flower and Gift Shop is located just 2 blocks off the Light Rail line. That means when construction is complete people will be able to get off the Light Rail and walk to Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express!
We invite you to call, click or come by!